Connie’s Cookies expands business through high-end cakes, cupcakes

WICHITA — Connie Hamilton of Connie’s Cookies was curious to read about Smallcakes, A Cupcakery, scouting Wichita for a potential store.

She’s trying to capitalize on the cupcake craze, too.

Though Hamilton has always sold cupcakes, previously it’s only been through special orders.

“It’s not like you can just walk in and see them,” she says.

In about two weeks, Hamilton will have a designated area in her store near 21st and Amidon where she’ll offer ready-made cupcakes with rotating designs and flavors, such as pina colada and peach cobbler.

“Just some different, fun things.”

She’s also going to start making muffins.

Hamilton is eager to see how the cupcakes will do.

“They haven’t really taken off here like they have everywhere else,” she says of the national craze.

Hamilton also is curious to see how Jeff Martin’s Smallcakes will do here.

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Paul Teutul Jr. debuts his new Coleman grill

WICHITA — Paul Teutul Jr. is having a busy day making the rounds at Coleman and in Wichita today (and will be signing autographs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight in Old Town Square).

The “American Chopper” star has customized Coleman’s RoadTrip Grill, a portable grill that normally sells for $179.

Teutul’s version will debut early next year and retail for $199.

He incorporated some motorcycle elements, such as a “nifty speedometer thermometer” as well as the logo for his new Paul Jr. Designs company.

There are some distinctly Coleman features he added, too.

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Paul Teutul Jr. of “American Chopper” is returning to Wichita to customize a Coleman grill

paulWICHITA — Paul Teutul Jr. is returning to Wichita, but this time he’s customizing a grill for Coleman instead of bringing a custom-designed motorcycle to Viega.

Teutul and his father, Paul Teutul Sr., are known as the Orange County Chopper guys on their popular “American Chopper” show on TLC.

Last year, they came here to help Viega, a plumbing and heating systems manufacturer, get some attention with a new bike. It featured, among other things, some of Viega’s fittings and copper tubing in the spokes of the wheels.

Now, the younger Teutul is customizing Coleman’s RoadTrip Grill.

“He actually approached us through our parent company, Jarden,” says David Johnston, director of consumer strategy.

“He was taking a look at branching out, doing something outside of motorcycle customization,” Johnston says of Teutul. “He looked around at a lot of things that were near and dear to his heart.”

roadtripThat includes the outdoors and entertaining, so Johnston says it was a good fit.

The grill’s 10th anniversary is coming up, so Johnston says the timing was good for Coleman, too.

Teutul won’t change how the grill works, but he will add “a little bit of a different flair,” Johnston says. That includes “that biker approach to things.”

The process will be shown over several vignettes on “American Chopper.”

The show is in reruns right now, so the grill customization will be featured in the next season.

Coleman is working on a public event for Teutul while he’s in Wichita this week.

We’ll keep you posted once details are settled.