From MIT To A Bakery: The Story Of The Sweet Lobby

Feb 13, 2012

Valentine's Day is a time for tasty treats, and one Washington, D.C.-based boutique bakery bills itself as the "ultimate advocate for your sweet tooth."

The Sweet Lobby is based in Washington, D.C., but it didn't get its name from the interest groups that try to work their magic on politicians around the nation's capital.

Instead, the name comes from the lobbies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that showcase innovations and host events — which might sound strange until you learn that The Sweet Lobby's founders', Winnette McIntosh Ambrose and her brother Timothy, both graduated from MIT with degrees in chemical engineering.

Ambrose first got the cupcake-bug while studying abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris as an undergrad.

"I became really mesmerized, captivated by the beauty, the craft of French patisserie," she tells Michel Martin, host of NPR's Tell Me More.

Her sweet dreams continued as she pursued a doctorate degree in biomedical engineering and worked in the medical technology industry.

Ambrose says she's been "practicing, obsessing over recipes, [and] developing them" for years.

Apparently, the hard work has paid off, because the brother-sister duo from Trinidad won the $10,000 first place prize on a recent episode of Cupcake Wars.

They got to display their prize-winning cupcake concoctions, including a chestnut caramel cake with black sesame cream with chestnut cream frosting, at the Los Angeles Chinese New Year's Festival.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.