Cupcake girl

Annette Starbuck at the Goodie Girls Cupcakes Glendale store in 2011. Starbuck plans to open a second location in La Canada Flintridge in July. (Tim Berger / Staff Photographer / August 19, 2011)

After Annette Starbuck opened a store in Glendale nearly two years ago, she realized many of her customers drove from La Cañada Flintridge to order from her selection of cupcakes and sweet treats.

Opening a second Goodie Girls Cupcakes location along Foothill Boulevard seemed only natural.

"It just clicked one day," she said.

Starbuck gained notoriety as a winner of Food Network's "Cupcake Wars," using the $10,000-prize to open her first store on 415 E. Broadway. She is set to open her new location, next to Urban Fitness & Pilates Studio in the Vons shopping center, Plaza de La Cañada, within a couple of weeks.

The Goodie Girls Glendale store is small and Starbuck has had to rent commercial kitchen space in Pasadena by the hour. But with the new store, she will finally have her own kitchen. Cupcakes for both stores will be baked at the La Cañada location.

Besides Starbuck's signature cupcakes topped with edible glitter, the store will also offer coffee, homemade hot chocolate, cupcake sundaes, miniature cakes, cookies and breakfast pastries. The store will also have indoor and outdoor seating, unlike the Glendale location.

Business has been good at the Glendale store, which is near a busy retail area and new apartment buildings.

"We're very thankful for it," said Starbuck. "So far, good reviews."

She added, "It's a lot of work, though."

Goodie Girls is one of several retail shops to move into La Cañada Flintridge's downtown area over the past year. Next month, Blaze Pizza is set open in the Town Center next to The Habit Burger Grill, which opened late last year. Sprouts Farmers Market also opened in 2012.

Flintridge Proper, an upscale restaurant and bar with décor related to the history of the city, welcomed customers in April.

"The trend is directly tied to the slowly improving economy," said Pat Anderson, president and chief executive of the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce. "While some cities are doing better than others, we are fortunate to be one of them."

A couple of years ago, the city faced a double-digit vacancy rate among non-residential properties. Now, said Anderson, the vacancy rate is at about 4%.

The business boom has also helped the city operate on a comfortable budget, with plenty of funds left in reserves. La Cañada's sales tax revenue is projected at $2.34 million for the 2013-14 fiscal year, up from $2.28 million over the past year.

While spaces are filling up, the chamber would be happy to welcome more retail shops if they decided to call La Cañada home.

"We are ready," said Anderson. "We are business-friendly."

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