Photos Jason Huynh
When you walk in the door of this café-styled cupcake shop the first thing you notice is the sweet and satisfying scent of sugar.
Cupcakes of every size and flavor line the cases along with iced cookies and cake balls. Behind the counter, you can glimpse into the kitchen to see Paula Doyle and Shelby Doyle Dunn and their amazing team working hard to bring you quality desserts all week long. Heaven Scent Cupcakes (13 South Public Square, Cartersville, Ga.) has an array of flavors to choose from. The local pick is Strawberry Shortcake, and with flavors like Lemon Mousse, Coconut Crème and Mint Chocolate Chip, patrons are guaranteed a delightful experience.
While their specialty is cupcakes, the bakery also produces Oreo balls, Nutter Butter balls, cake balls and dessert cakes. But we all know that these cupcakes didn’t bake themselves. The heart of the bakery is the family that runs it.
The mother-daughter duo took the reins of Heaven Scent Cupcakes in September of 2016. Paula says, “The original owner had closed down all of her locations, so we were the only Heaven Scent. So, we thought we would bring it back to Bartow where it started.”
The first member of the Doyle family to join the Heaven Scent team was their youngest daughter, Shelby. Shelby worked for the original owner throughout high school and into college. In December of 2012, she was given the opportunity to open a franchise store in Dallas, Ga. where she stayed until she took over the bakery with her mother four years later.
Before Paula joined her daughter as a partner in the bakery, she was a teacher in the Bartow County school system for many years. Her early years were spent teaching music at Kingston Elementary and in 2000 she transitioned to Woodland High School to teach piano and accompany the chorus. In 2005, the Doyle family suffered a terrible loss. Sophomore in High School, Lauren Doyle was tragically killed in a car accident.
Shelby was in the vehicle when the accident occurred. Lauren is very much a major part of their lives today. It has been years since she passed but the family was shaped by the loss, and Lauren’s memory keeps them together.
Paula stopped teaching for a while after the accident. But after some time, she decided to continue. She added a certificate in early childhood education to her resume and began teaching kindergarten at Mission Road Elementary. She taught a Title I program that tailored for schools that fall in specific socioeconomic brackets. These programs allow students to receive individual or small group aid if they are falling behind.
Paula retired early in 2016 to take on the cupcake world with Shelby. “You know what, I loved teaching when I taught,” Paula says. “When I made the decision to leave the classroom, I didn’t miss it, not one minute. So that gave me the peace I needed. I just knew that it was the right thing to do.”
The retired educator now runs operations at Heaven Scent fulltime and is the lead baker until 3:00 p.m. At that time, Paula ceases to be a baker and takes on a more important job: Nonni.
Shelby and her Husband Tyler Dunn welcomed baby, Kashton, into the world in January. With the new little bundle of joy, the family also acquired some office space above the bakery with a living room space and a kitchen. This allows Paula to stay close to the business and take care of her grandson while Shelby works her second job.
Shelby plays triple duty with the bakery, she is a dance instructor at Fusion Dance Company just down the street. Paula says, “Her specialty is ballet and tap, but she teaches everything.”
Shelby divides her time with teaching and decorating the cakes and, of course, spending as much time with her family as she can. She has just recently returned to work after her maternity leave which gives her new little cupcake plenty of time to play with his Nonni and get acquainted with the family business.
Of course, this bakery can’t function without a team of wonderful people helping the small family business to grow. Tamara Osborne, Brooklyn Miller, and Mallory Gilstrap work hard to keep the icing sweet and the ovens hot.
While the Doyle/Dunn family doesn’t plan on adding any more locations to the business, Paula does mention, “This day in age, people want things delivered to them, they don’t want to have to go and get it. So, we are going to try and expand on that delivery system. Yes, DoorDash does it for us, but we want to deliver ourselves. We are also trying to market to corporate businesses with bigger orders.”
Paula says all of this is possible now, because her husband Mark is retiring in December. Mark is already a part of the team as the “Icing Maker Extraordinaire”; however, with his retirement, and the addition of another oven, he will be able to assist in the larger orders and a delivery system the bakery wants to implement.
The bakery is hoping to show they are a working part of Bartow’s business community by being seen at many local events. They most recently participated in the Women’s Expo at the Clarence Brown Center. You will also be able to find them at May Market at Roselawn this year. They will be selling cupcakes, iced cookies, dessert balls and taking orders.
The bakery also had some significant success selling cookie kits around the Christmas holiday. Last year they sold around 300 kits that provided all the tools and cookies needed to create unique holiday creations at home.
Running a cupcake bakery can be hectic, but these cupcake divas and their team make it work seamlessly. Cartersville wouldn’t be Cartersville without Heaven Scent’s logo as a staple behind the railroad tracks.
So, if you’re like us and really want a cupcake now that you have read all about them, pop over to Heaven Scent Cupcakes, enjoy the sugar-high and meet a family dedicated to keeping their community southern and sweet.