Award-winning bakeshop CRAVE lives up to its name. This local spot’s high-quality, small-batch cupcakes and treats are some of the most popular in town, and one taste will tell you why—they always leave you wanting more.
To celebrate the season, CRAVE is offering limited-time holiday items and packages that are the perfect gift or personal indulgence. Now through December 24th, place your order for festive sweets, ranging from their beloved cupcakes, iconic Gingerbread Man cookies, peppermint bark, frosted sugar and snickerdoodle cookies, bars, fudge brownies, breads, Holiday Spice coffee, doggie treats, and more.
Bakeshop sweets this good can only come from a place of love, and that’s exactly the story with CRAVE co-owner (and award-winning filmmaker) Elizabeth Harrison Cooper. This passionate Houston native has been whipping up treats alongside her mother and grandmother since she was small, and the generational skill shows. We recently had the chance to chat with the talented co-owner—meet the boss behind the bakeshop!
What was the inspiration behind your beautiful holiday treats? How did you develop and select the flavors?
We strive to make everything we create not only delicious but beautiful. Gingerbread and gingerbread cookies remind me so much of the holidays and create a sense of comfort. We worked for a long time creating a gingerbread cookie that was both delicious and chewy—I don’t like crunchy gingerbread!
The decorations are simple and elegant like all of our offerings. Our handcrafted fondant Holiday cupcakes are the same. We really try to cater these decorations towards the kid at heart. It can take several months of testing, a very trial and error process, before we feel like we’ve created the perfect bite and decoration. The feedback we receive from our customers is also very helpful to us when we select flavors to bring back each season or new flavors to create.
Your mother and grandmother had a big influence on your love for baking. How did they instill that passion in you?
Yes, I credit them for helping me discover my passion for baking. Growing up, some of my fondest memories were spending time with them in the kitchen. These moments are so precious to me, so now when I bake, I remember that.
That really is where my passion lies…. creating the perfect package of a gift… something you can eat, something you can celebrate memories with, something you can gift, and something that I am proud of.
-Elizabeth Harrison Cooper, Co-owner of CRAVE
How were you inspired to turn this into a business?
Baking was just a way of life when I was growing up. We baked and we gifted. This is something I credit my Mom with teaching me. If someone did her a favor, she baked for them. If she needed a favor done, she baked for them. I took this life skill and applied it to my everyday affairs.
When I lived in Los Angeles and worked in the television and film industry, all I knew was baking for gifts. If I needed to thank someone, I baked for them. My gifts were usually met with some sort of comment like “this reminds me of my childhood,” or “wow, you can bake!”. I always kept it simple: cookies, cupcakes, pies (all-American treats), as I noticed the simpler baked goods were the ones that were most appreciated. I had a desire to turn this idea of using the finest ingredients and gifting delicious, well-made, bakeshop items into a business, and that is how CRAVE started.
You use only the finest ingredients in your treats, from European butter to house-made vanilla extract of African beans. What drives your commitment to quality?
Quality is everything. It’s our defining factor and something we prioritize across our cupcake and bakeshop items. Our customers are the biggest driving force, and we believe they deserve the best. We are dedicated to creating the highest quality product by using the finest, all natural ingredients. If that means importing vanilla beans from Africa, using the highest quality European butter, or chocolate from Belgium, then that’s what we’ll do!
You left the film industry to pursue your dream of opening a bakeshop, which has flourished into a wildly popular business. Tell us about that journey.
I went to L.A straight out of college to start my career in the film industry. While there, I created a successful series of award-winning short films before I met my husband, Peter. Together we created a film called Love and Mary, which was based on a woman who owned a gourmet bakery. This is really where my idea to create a bakery evolved from. After the film, my husband and I moved back to Houston and teamed up with our friend Brad Dorsey to create the concept of CRAVE. CRAVE gave me an opportunity to pursue not only my love of baking, but creating a brand that was identifiable as serving quality and consistency. That really is where my passion lies…. creating the perfect package of a gift… something you can eat, something you can celebrate memories with, something you can gift, and something that I am proud of.
You have three lovely storefronts in Uptown Park, West University, and The Woodlands. What’s next for CRAVE?
Everyone knows us for our cupcakes, which we love! But our next focus will be spreading the message that we are more than just cupcakes… We have an entire bakeshop with cookies, brownies, breads, muffins, coffee, and more, all carrying the same high-quality taste as our cupcakes.
Visit all three CRAVE locations:
Uptown: 1151-06 Uptown Park Blvd.
Kirby: 5600 Kirby Drive
The Woodlands: 2501 Research Forest Drive