Forest City woman brings smiles to locals through at-home business

Forest City woman brings smiles to locals through at-home business Main Photo

23 Aug 2021


In March 2011, Forest City resident Elissa Hanna decided to turn her hobby of cake pop and cupcake baking into an in-home business called Happy Sweets Cupcakes.

Hanna’s passion started when she stumbled upon a cake pop book. She began making the treats as a hobby, but after some push from family members, she decided to open her own business. After a year of only selling cake pops, she added cupcakes to her menu.

Despite working out of her kitchen part-time, Hanna still believes Happy Sweets Cupcakes “fills that need for something that’s homebaked.”

One way she satisfies the community’s sweet tooth is through her 150 self-created flavor options. Some of her most-requested flavors are happy joy, almond confetti, buckeye and brownie batter fudge.

“I measure success for my business honestly by people being happy,” Hanna said. “I mean, I’m not in it to make a fortune, it’s just something fun and extra for me to do.”

While she sometimes gets inspiration from the internet, she often finds herself trying to get inspiration from other types of desserts and treats. One of her most unique flavors was inspired by The Sound of Music song “The Lonely Goatherd.” It became a toasted coconut cupcake decorated with creme mousse, chocolate drizzle and toasted coconut on top.

Since 2014, Hanna has been participating in the Forest City farmer’s markets. Here, Hanna sells more than just her cupcakes by adding other baked goods like cookies, brownies and scones.

One aspect of her business Hanna has come to love is contributing to the memorable events going on in her customer’s lives.

“It’s a really big privilege to be a part of those special things,” Hanna said. “Or being part of a benefit for someone who is fighting an illness or something like those are really special to be able to supply a tiny bit of happiness for someone that is going through a rough time.”

Hanna works upon request and can be contacted through the business’ Facebook page.

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