There’s a sweet little secret hiding out in plain sight in Fort Worth. Hummingbird Sweet Shoppe has set up at Cowtown ChowDown where Robin Alshouse operates out of Sophia, the Mobile Bakery.
I didn’t really intend to buy anything sweet, but the menu was small and I had to get close to read it. Then, Robin called out from the trailer, and I had to ask what a Gob was! I gravitated toward the trailer as if drawn by her voice, and there just inside the window was a platter of cupcakes. And just as I thought I was about to break the spell, my wife says, “I want one of each of the cupcakes, a slice of Pumpkin Roll and, yeah, give me one of those Gobs!”
Dessert trucks face a challenge in setting themselves apart. Hummingbird Sweet Shoppe features cupcakes, cake balls, pumpkin rolls and something called a Gob. More on the Gob later. Most cupcakes are cake on the bottom and icing piled on top. What sets these cupcakes apart is the way the cupcakes are filled, assuring that you get icing in every bite.
The Vanilla filled with Strawberry cupcake was the special flavor the day I was there but the Caramel Toffee is a regular on the menu.
The surprise in finding the centers stuffed is fun, the cupcakes are moist, and they really are different than most cupcakes you’ll find. These cupcakes come in the small size and I just wished there was a little more of them. But there was more! On to the Pumpkin Roll!
The thing that sets a really good baker apart from the rest is the ability to take the same basic ingredients and make something that stands out. This Pumpkin Roll stands out! Fresh, moist pumpkin cake infused with chopped Pecans is slathered with cream cheese frosting and then rolled up so the icing is on the inside. Icing or filling on the inside seems to be a trademark at Hummingbird Sweete Shop. It’s no wonder that this is a regular on the menu.
This is where you expect me to tell you about the Gob. Well, your gonna have to wait a bit longer.
Usually I can pick up some background on a truck from a website or Facebook. This time … well, let’s just say the website is still under construction and Robin appears to like creating new things in the kitchen more than kibitzing on Facebook. And so I emailed Robin a few questions. I intended to use the information to write the article. But her answers were so good, and give a glimpse into who she is, I decided to simply include it as a mini-interview. Her responses are in pink – just the way she sent them to me. Your gonna love her story about the Gob!
FTC: Facebook says you got the trailer in July 2012? Is that when you first opened for business?
FTC: What did you do before Sophia and working out of a trailer?
Robin: Baked from home part time and a full time bookkeeper.
FTC: What is the story on buying and operating Sophia, the Mobile Bakery?
Robin: Getting a home business started was taking too long and the regulations are very restrictive. I did not want to go deep in debt by opening a store front. A mobile bakery seemed ideal for me at this time.
FTC: Looking at the website, it looks like previously you made custom decorated cakes. Is that still part of the business?
Robin: The cake business was part time and yes, I still make cakes.
FTC: Where can my readers find out where Sophia will be parked. I didn’t find a Twitter Account or a schedule on Facebook.
Robin: My primary location will be at Cowtown Chowdown and I will post any special events on Facebook.
FTC: Do you have a set menu of cupcakes, cake balls and cookies or do you cook and decorate based on inspiration at the time?
Robin: My menu each week will include: pumpkin rolls, caramel toffee cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies and gobs. In addition to these items I will have several other flavors of cupcakes which will change weekly.
FTC: What exactly is a gob – what’s it made of? Where did the name come from?
Robin: Ahhhhh, the gobs. That is the most asked question. What is a gob? (and in some cases “What is a glob?”) A gob is a chocolate cinnamon cake filled with a vanilla icing that is not real sweet. (There are pumpkin gobs too and I may add them to my menu during the fall).
The history of the name of the gob: The name gob comes from mining towns in Pennsylvania. Lumps of coal refuse were called gob piles. The wives of coal miners and steel workers wanted to pack desserts for their husbands that would be easy for them to eat at work without the use of utensils. They made the cakes and put the icing in the middle and called them gobs.
FTC: I’d like to use your name but that’s entirely up to you. I can simply refer to Hummingbird Sweet Shoppe.
Robin: My name is Robin Allshouse feel free to use my name. (If I get a bad review, you can use my husband’s name, Ken, lol) Thanks for your interest and I hope to see you at Cowtown.
Robin, the review went just fine and so were the goodies! I hope lots of folks come out to see you at Cowtown Chowdown. You’re a fun, friendly lady and a good baker to boot! You’ll probably see me, too, since I keep asking myself, “Why didn’t I get the Chocolate Chip Cookies??”
And when does the Pumpkin Gob come out?