Erik and Cori Larsen, owners of Heaven Cupcake in Salt Lake City, recently opened a cupcake shop in Mumbai, India, the first of five bakeries the couple plan to open this year in India.
The Larsen’s opened Heaven Cupcake in 2010, while Erik was a student in the University of Utah and participating in the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute’s Foundry program.
Not long after starting the business, the couple appeared on several episodes of the Food Network competition show, “Cupcake Wars.” While they were never crowned champion, the media exposure caught the attention of a group of Indian entrepreneurs, who the Larsens now have as partners to launch the Boston Cupcakery in Mumbai.
The menu includes classic American cupcake flavors as well as Indian-inspired flavors including coriander, anise and chiku.
Since their arrival in India in September, they have been busy experimenting with recipes, managing construction, training employees and importing ingredients from France, Switzerland and the U.S., along with overseeing their bakery in Salt Lake, according to a news release from the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute.
“It’s been an adventure with a lot of trial and error,” said Erik Larsen. “In India, all the products are different and most people cook over an open flame. We are training people who have never seen a whisk and who have no idea what a cupcake is.”
The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, part of the David Eccles School of Business, provides a variety of student programs, including business plan competitions, scholarship opportunities, internships and business incubators.
The program helped the Larsens create the Heaven Cupcake logo and website as well as the audition/promotional video for “Cupcake Wars.”