Rachel Bolling   



Owner, Lush Cupcakes





Illustration by Emily Herr


Lush Cupcakes is a boutique cupcake bakery specializing in alcohol-infused cupcakes. Each recipe uses local craft beers, wines, and spirits to create fun and unique flavors that are great for any event! After baking up a special batch of boozy cupcakes for a “stock the bar” party, Rachel has taken her hobby and turned it into an expanding business with events at breweries, cideries, and wineries all across central Virginia!


What is your advice on marketing and/or advertising?

Know your target customer and spend as much time in front of them as possible. Schedule as many events as you can and engage on social media.


What’s the biggest hurdle you had to overcome?

Navigating the legalities around the use of alcohol in food products. Building relationships with ABC and growing partnerships with local breweries, cideries, and wineries have been critical to our success. We even had a new law passed in Virginia this year!


What is your definition of success?

Positive movement. Success comes in different shapes and sizes. When running a small business, a little success can still mean big things!


What is your advice for someone starting out?

Ask questions always. There are always things to learn, explore, and gather when starting a small business. You won’t know until you ask.