I decided to treat myself to a health and wellness day in South Jersey. I found a great discount on Rue La La for Bernard’s Salon and Spa for only $60, which included a deep tissue massage, facial and haircut. I paired my spa day with a healthy, low-fat lunch and a trip to the gym. I decided early on that it was a “no cupcake” kind of day. My waistline was growing! Short season started early!
My self-imposed directive didn’t seem difficult. When I think of cupcakes, I don’t think of South Jersey. Philadelphia has really become the regional hub of all things cupcakes. Logic suggested that there wouldn’t be any temptations across the bridge. I went along with my afternoon, and checked out of my last spa service. Then I spied them. They were sitting on the counter in mass numbers ready to gang up on me — a huge tray of cupcake samples in assorted flavors and colors! They literally said, “Free take me!” How could I resist? I tried a pink one, which led to a cookie-topped one, which led to several other samples. The card on the tray taunted me, “Come down to Jilly B’s Treats and Boutique.” The staff at Bernard’s pointed me down the walkway, and there went my diet!
When I entered the store, I first thought of a mix between an old western general store and an old-fashioned candy shop — only it was cupcake-ified with pinks and pastels. It was inviting, colorful and cheery. On the large counter, behind the glass, were delicious looking cupcakes in several flavors. They had cookies and cream, strawberry, peanut butter with chocolate, apple, chocolate, vanilla, carrot, tuxedo and more. Next to them was another tray of samples. Again, the cupcake chanted, “Take one! Take one!” I sampled another pink one and learned it wasn’t champagne as the color suggested, but instead it was strawberry. I was instantly hooked. The cupcake was moist, with a light flavor of strawberry. The frosting was a delicious sugary-sweet buttercream with strawberry flavor. If I had any critique it was that there was too much sugary deliciousness going on with all the frosting, but I took one for the team and ate every last morsel.
The temptations didn’t stop with the cupcakes at Jilly B’s! Oh no. Next to the cupcakes, I eyed artfully decorated chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate “pizzas,” and a high-end yogurt and topping bar. (This is actually the third cupcake and frozen yogurt place I have discovered lately — apparently they are a growing trend!) In an effort to avoid a full out binge, I took my cupcake and sat at the big round tables in the front. I was able to continue my relaxing afternoon, while watching people go by.
While I shopped, I met up with the owner of Jilly B’s, Jill Schafer. She was as sweet and delightful as her cupcakes. She told me some brief history about the store, the cupcakes, flavors and seasonal selections. I was especially impressed by her modern marketing strategies in the store. While she had an old-fashioned menu board above the counter, she also had a flat screen television plugging their products. Jill also mentioned her Facebook page, which I immediately “liked” when I got home.
While my heart and loyalty go to some of my favorite cupcakes on the other side of the bridge, Jill and her Jilly B’s Treats definitely made my cut of “must visit” places when run across the Walt Whitman into Jersey. If you are in Cherry Hill, Marlton or Voorhees, I suggest you stop in for a cupcake, a comfortable seat and wonderful hospitality.
Disclaimer: No monetary compensation or in-kind items were provided for this post.