Candace Nelson



Received a university degree, but specifically for baking, completed Tante Marie’s Professional Pastry Program in San Francisco

With Sprinkles, Candace has taken over the pastry industry by creating cupcakes with gourmet ingredients and the touch of a “special occasion cake.” She recognizes the importance of giving back to communities and continuously does so by donating leftover cupcakes daily to shelters and gifting to children’s hospitals, schools and the Women’s Cancer Research Fund. In addition, Candace has added a sweet personality as a judge on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.” If you have caught on to the cupcake fever, you have Candace to thank.

Sprinkles now has 11 stores across America with plans of expansion in locations including Las Vegas, Boston and Seattle. If you haven’t had the chance to sink your sweet tooth into a Sprinkles cupcake, you are missing out on one heavenly delight.

Test your interest to make sure you want to pursue it as more than just a hobby.

How did you discover your current job?

I used to be an investment banker and liked my job but wasn’t passionate about it. Baking was always my passion, and I quit my job to attend pastry school.

What is your typical day like? What types of things do you do in your job?

One of the best things about my job is that every day is different! Some days, I’m on the set of “Cupcake Wars” serving as a judge and tasting 13 unique cupcakes! Other days, I’m working on recipe development in my kitchen or traveling to one of our 11 stores around the country. When I’m not on the go, I spend a lot of my time on my computer emailing.

What is the biggest personal sacrifice you have to make because of your job?

I’m very fortunate that I am able to work from home where I can be with my two sons. Additionally, I opened Sprinkles with my husband, so I really do get my family time on a daily basis.

What is one lesson you've learned in your job that sticks with you?

I’ve learned the customer service should always be a priority in the retail industry. You can have the best tasting cupcakes, but if your customer service isn’t up to par, people won’t return!

Who are your role models?

My great grandmother owned several successful restaurants in San Francisco for more than 20 years starting in the 1920’s. Her passion for baking and cooking was passed down to my mother who always dazzled her friends with her dinner parties and show-stopping desserts. I grew up baking with my mother and after a few years in finance, I decided to go to pastry school to pursue my passion.

What are some of the rules you live by?

Do what you love!

What advice do you have for girls who want to be in your industry?

Test your interest to make sure you want to pursue it as more than just a hobby. Take classes and ask anyone you know who is in the restaurant or bakery world what an average day is like.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Working hard to continuously keep Sprinkles innovative and expanding the brand nationwide.

What are three things you love aside from your job?

My family, a relaxing vacation and good food!

-Interview by Kacey Valla