Sugar Inc. is a bakery/restaurant in Dublin that specializes in funky cupcakes of the gourmet persuasion. In addition to the delicious individual pastries, Sugar Inc. also makes sandwiches, soup, salads and smoothies alongside a variety of artisanal teas.
Proprietor Ava Misseldine has taken the cupcake craze a step further. While many places in Columbus offer cupcakes (see Bakery Gingham, Surly Girl or Pattycake for a few examples), Sugar Inc.'s products have the extra bonus of being organic. They also produce gluten-free cupcakes for those with allergies.
The interior of Sugar Inc. is mostly blue with a modern art accents. There is seating for about 25 diners, although I imagine most cupcakes are enjoyed off-site.
Cupcake flavors include Madagascar bourbon vanilla, dark chocolate, buckeye, red velvet, strawberry merlot and chai honey cream cheese. The lineup changes regularly, although the bourbon vanilla and dark chocolate are regular choices. There are normal and baby sized cupcakes in most flavors.
The bourbon vanilla cupcake was excellent. The sweet notes of whiskey smoke are tempered by rich vanilla that is a perfect foil to the cupcake. The dark chocolate had a sweet icing that rounded out the bitter chocolate in the cake. The buckeye is the heavenly Ohio staple combination of chocolate and peanut butter. The chai honey cup cake has more in common with a muffin than a true dessert, with spicy ginger and cinnamon elements that add new and exciting elements in each layer of flavor. The strawberry merlot is what a wine critic would call a fruit bomb. Imagine it as a strawberry shortcake with a darker hue and hints of cassis.
The lunch menu features a vegetarian sandwich wrap and salads. The Scioto Trail veggie wrap comes cold or toasted. I ordered mine toasted, which makes the Jack and Swiss cheeses ooze perfectly out of the sandwich. The wrap holds spinach, mushrooms, carrots, cucumber, artichoke and red peppers in a dill dressing with a side of Thai peanut sauce. It comes as a half or whole order.
The Sugar signature salad is also delicious. It is intensely flavorful, with pickled beets, cranberries, dates, grape tomatoes, dates on a bed of spinach with brie and cherry rosemary vinaigrette.
Sugar Inc. has been in the news lately because Miss Misseldine is auditioning to appear on the Food Network's latest foray into battle food programming Cupcake Wars. With Columbus getting on TV often for foodie-related activities lately (two different 614-area-code bakers on Ultimate Cake-Off, Jeni's ice cream on Best Thing I Ever Ate and Anthony Bourdain filming in Columbus), this could be another bit of cool publicity for Columbus.