Cupcakes (Photo via Flickr/tarale)(Updated at 3:55 p.m.) Local bakeries that serve alcohol-infused cupcakes may soon need to follow new D.C. laws.

Amendments to D.C. Code that Mayor Muriel Bowser signed yesterday would require businesses that sell booze-infused baked goods to get a $1,000 liquor license and sell the sweets in sealed containers.

The Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Amendment Act of 2014 would apply to all “confectionary food products” that contain between 0.5 and 5 percent alcohol per volume. The sealed products would need to be labeled with the brand of alcohol used, and could be sold only to customers age 21 and up, the legislation says.

No current district regulations address alcohol in baked goods, the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration confirmed.

The push for the bill began when the booze-infused cupcake company Crunkcakes asked ABRA what permits they would need. Faith Alice Sleeper was informed there was no D.C. precedent for alcohol-infused foods like hers, which “aim to give you cavities and liver damage at the same time.”

“I was told initially that I would need the same type of license as D.C. Brau,” she said, noting she was told that required a $6,000 a year fee. “I was a small business and couldn’t afford that.”

Sleeper worked with the office of Tommy Wells, then-councilman for Ward 6, to draft the amendment. She testified before D.C. Council in October and said she was pleased to hear the bill got Bowser’s stamp of approval this week.

“I’m happy to start my process to become fully legal,” she said.

Sam Whitfield, co-owner of Curbside Cupcakes (257 15th St. SE), said his business would reconsider selling alcohol-infused treats if the law goes into effect.

“We would have to reassess whether it’s worth it for us,” he said about the shop’s eggnog, Bailey’s Irish Cream and tequila sunrise cupcakes.

The act would also create a festival license for art and sporting events that last 5 to 15 days. One license type would allow the sale and serving of beer and wine, for $1,000. A second class of license would allow liquor sales as well, for $2,000.

Additionally, the new law will allow District distilleries to sell cocktails containing their products, similar to how breweries are allowed to sell pints.

The act will be under review by Congress for the next 30 days.

Photo via Flickr/tarale


A local business that started with a single cupcake truck almost five years ago has grown into a full-service cafe.

As the 15th Street SE bakery Curbside Cafe celebrated the one-year anniversary of its brick-and-mortar location, co-owner Kristi Whitfield spoke with Hill Now about what she and her husband and co-owner Sam have learned thus far and what’s in store for the future.

Whitfield, whose family lives near H and 13th streets NE, said connecting to locals at the 257 15th St. SE business has been key to their success.

“We’ve really tried to engage the neighborhood,” Whitfield said. “Sam and I are really hands-on, and our favorite part of this is our relationship with customers.”

The Whitfields sold two of their three food trucks this summer and have focused on become more than a cupcake business.

“We’re thinking of ways to expand our offerings and become more of an neighborhood eating place,” Whitfield said.

Curbside’s full lineup of breakfast and lunch items includes an herbed butter grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough and tomato bisque. More lunch items are on the way, including a roast beef sandwich and a curried egg salad sandwich.

Customers can look out for holiday treats soon, too. Pumpkin walnut cupcakes are back, sweet potato cupcakes are coming in November. Chocolate peppermint sweets will be sold in December.

For the first time, Curbside will start selling pies this fall.

“I believe that I make a mean sweet potato pecan pie,” Whitfield said, noting that Curbside will sell pumpkin pie and maybe apple pie, too.

Whitfield, 45, said her family’s connection with Hill East has been especially meaningful lately, as her 2-month-old son has been hospitalized.

“There’s been an outpouring of support from neighbors who have come by and asked if there’s something they can do,” she said.


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