Goodbye, Cupcake

After 15 years on Pac Ave, cupcake bakery Hello, Cupcake sells its last cupcake.

Photo by Alexa Christie | Hello, Cupcake closed after fifteen years of service.

Tacoma residents from far and wide lined up in the rain last Sunday morning for one final cupcake from beloved cupcake bakery, Hello, Cupcake. 

Hello, Cupcake, which has been a part of downtown Tacoma for the past 15 years and has been owned by Allix Weber since 2014, is now one of the many businesses that have had to shut its doors within the past few years on Pacific Avenue. 

Weber announced the store closure on social media on January 4 and cited a variety of factors for the store closure such as a rising cost for ingredients, economic hardships and other causes that stem from troubles many businesses have faced at the hands of the pandemic. 

Tacomans have showed up in droves to get their last cupcakes since Weber announced the store’s closure, selling out every day since and leading up to January 8, the store’s last day open. There were two long lines, one for preorders, and one line for in-store cupcake purchases starting from Hello, Cupcake’s doors going all the way past The University Bookstore and almost reaching Subway.  

Photo by Destiny Valencia | A long line of people wait to order cupcakes on Hello, Cupcake’s last day.

Some individuals who waited in line were prepared with umbrellas, foldable chairs and blankets. Some of these people started gathering as early as 6:50 a.m. while they waited for the store to open at 10 a.m.. Overall, some individuals ended up waiting four hours for their cupcake fix, as some social media posts suggest. 

“Hello, Cupcake is a dear bakery for us, my husband went to UWT when they opened… We got here at about 9 o’clock,” said Kathleen Seaton. 

Individuals who were lucky enough to preorder some cupcakes, such as Toby Ensign, were excited to get their hands on Hello, Cupcake’s goodbye variety pack of cupcakes, but expressed their sadness to see the store close. 

“I’ve been coming here for years and have been giving [cupcakes] to friends and relatives and I am just sad to see them go.” 

After about an hour of people waiting in line for cupcakes, Weber came out to inform the crowd and give them updates on wait times for those in the non-preorder line and informed the line that workers were still fulfilling preorder pickups.  

“We are gonna bake until we are out of ingredients,” Weber told those waiting in line, eager for their final cupcakes.  

The community support for Hello, Cupcake can be seen all over local social media with locals reposting favorite memories at Hello, Cupcake, favorite flavors and a sadness to see a beloved bakery close. 

“The outpouring of support has been overwhelming, to say the least! Customers have been showing up in droves to purchase cupcakes one more time and to share their stories about what Hello, Cupcake has meant to them. It’s bittersweet in light of the circumstances, but very heartwarming to know how much our customers care about us,” Weber said. 

This will not be the only store closure on Pacific Ave as The University Book Store announced it will be closing in January, making that two businesses to close their doors the first month of the new year.  

Representatives for UWT have expressed a desire to “reactivate and reimagine spaces” on Pacific Ave but what this means is not clear. A representative for the school has also stated in previous interviews that the school has been “leaning in” to help businesses. 

For business owners like Weber, what this could look like is more communication between the businesses and the school if they may be struggling. 

“I think communication is always the best place to start. Business owners have to communicate when they’re struggling and reach out for help, which is something I wish I had done sooner. I think if the University is checking in with their tenants and keeping lines of communication open, a lot of good can come out of that,” Weber said. 

While saying goodbye to Hello, Cupcake has been bittersweet, Weber remains optimistic. 

“Hello, Cupcake has been like a second home to me over the last 10-plus years, and I will miss it dearly. As hard as it is to say goodbye, I’m just focused on finishing out this week and staying optimistic about what opportunities I will pursue next.”  

For now, Tacoma residents will need to find somewhere else to satisfy their sweet tooth. Goodbye, cupcake.

Photo by Alexa Christie | The storefront of Hello, Cupcake.