By Emily Tamburri
RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The New Jersey cupcake shop which brought the celebrated Charlie Sheen “Winning” cupcake is bringing another sweet treat to the Tri-State area: A free day of live music and festivities to benefit a Bloomfield animal shelter.
The Sweet Avenue Bake Shop in Rutherford, N.J., along with partner, Planet Verge, the blog and Internet TV show, are hosting their fourth annual Cupcakefest. The full day of free live music and festivities to benefit Bloomfield’s John A. Bukowski Shelter for Animals will take place on Saturday, June 18 at Rutherford’s Lincoln Park Bandshell.
Sweet Avenue has planned to dedicate a full day to cupcake eating contests, raffles, crafts and games for all ages to raise money for the struggling shelter and promote their company’s founding principles for love and humane treatment of all animals.
The bakery’s owners, Jake and Danielle Vance, began their eclectic confection shop to offer a product that was widely unavailable—vegan desserts.
“We saw there was a need for it, and when we opened, we found that a lot of our customers, because we cater to it, being a vegan cupcake shop, feel the same way as we do about animal rights,” said Mr. Vance.
The family owned and run business was looking for a way to help and give back to animals in need, and, around the time of their one year anniversary of the Sweet Avenue Bake Shop opening, the idea for a fun, charitable get together with their customers came about.
What began as a small scale party to donate cupcake sales to a local shelter blossomed into a full day of activities and a widely attended annual event. Proud owners of a few dog and cat rescues themselves, the Vance’s love for animals and popular bakery yielded the successful Cupcakefest, which has raised thousands of dollars for various local animal shelters across New Jersey, and, the hope of doing the same this year for the John A. Bukowski Shelter.
“This shelter was a great candidate for our next event,” said Vance. “Bloomfield has been dealing with a lot of budget cuts, and this shelter is facing being shut down. It is one of the lowest kill shelters in the state, and that really struck us as a cause to be on board with.”
The John A. Bukowski Shelter for Animals prides itself on the humane treatment of the animals brought into their care, and Sweet Avenue believes that this type of commendable act deserves support, when so many other shelters are forced to euthanize due to overcrowding.
“You have to respect any type of shelter who goes through so much effort to put dogs and cats in temporary homes and full time rescues,” Vance said.
Local canine celebrity, Patrick, the abused and malnourished pup who survived behind stuffed down a Newark trash chute, can thank Sweet Avenue for their work with his rescue.
Upon learning the pup’s story, they proceeded to donate a portion of their cupcake sales, raising over $1,000 to help the dog regain his health.
With Patrick doing well, Sweet Avenue hopes that their fundraiser can help take a stand against animal cruelty, as well as give a charitable donation to the shelter in order to ensure the safety of all animals. “Our customers feel the same way as we do,” said Vance.
“They want to help out any animal in any situation. This is a great benefit to the shelter and it will bring even more awareness to people about the awful experience of some animals, like in Patrick’s case, and help shed some light on a very serious situation.”
For more information on Cupcakefest, click here.
For more information on Sweet Avenue Bake Shop, click here.