Keith Grant has always had a knack for being in the kitchen.
“I have enjoyed cooking my whole life,” said Grant, owner of Doodle’s Cupcakes, Casseroles & More. “I used to help my grandmother cook, and my mother. It’s just something that comes natural to me; I’ve always done it.”
Grant opened her store, then called Doodle’s Cupcakes, about 11 years ago. At the time, she was the microbiology supervisor at the hospital, so Doodle’s was a part-time side business for her. In recent years, Grant decided to leave her job at the hospital to devote herself to her store full-time. The hours have expanded, and the name was modified to be more inclusive of all of the many menu options Grant provides. The Doodle’s moniker, however, remains at the store’s forefront.
“It’s my daddy’s name. That’s what they called him,” explained Grant. “He used to scoot around town on his tricycle … he scooted around like a doodle bug.”
As the name of the store indicates, Doodle’s first got its reputation in town for the many varieties of original cupcake recipes they offer each day. Cupcake menus are shared on the store’s Facebook page at the start of each business day. While some flavors rotate, there are menu favorites that Grant and her crew prepare each day.
“One of the ones we do every time we’re open is Junk in Your Trunk. That’s a real popular one,” said Grant.
Grant describes the confection as a chocolate cupcake with an Oreo baked in the bottom. The cupcake is topped with peanut butter frosting and a decadent topping of plain and peanut M&Ms, Hershey bar, Reese’s cup and a chocolate drizzle.
“It’ll put some junk in your trunk,” said Grant with a laugh.
Other popular cupcakes at Doodle’s include vanilla caramel cream, chocolate truffle, bananas foster, chunky monkey and squirrel.
“Squirrel is named for my son. He made that one up,” said Grant of the banana cupcake with caramel filling, peanut butter frosting, honey roasted peanuts and caramel drizzle.
Grant keeps her loyal customers engaged each week through the Doodle’s Facebook page.
“Every day that we’re open, we give away four cupcakes, and all you have to do is like our Facebook page, like our post for the day and share it and comment,” said Grant.
In addition to cupcakes, Doodle’s makes a wide variety of baked goods and sweets, including several types of cookies, brownies, cheese straws, pound cakes, toasted pecans and more.
“One of our real popular cookies is pound cake cookies,” said Grant. “It’s like potato chips: You can’t eat just one.”
Doodle’s also sells cakes, including specialty decorated cakes, pound cakes, and Doodle Bites, which are cake bites sold in every variety of cupcake flavor the store offers.
Over the years, Grant has expanded the offerings from her kitchen to include more than just desserts.
“The biggest thing is we started doing casseroles. That’s done very well for us,” said Grant.
Doodle’s stocks numerous varieties of casseroles and other popular savory favorites. Casseroles come in three sizes to accommodate a variety of group sizes. Grant has found the casseroles to be very popular, particularly with the number of college students living in and around downtown.
“We have a lot of parents from the college kids that will call and order food for their kids because they want them to have a home-cooked meal,” said Grant.
Some of Doodle’s most popular savory options include baked spaghetti, chicken tetrazzini and buffalo chicken dip. The store’s casserole menu also includes quiches, pimento cheese, chicken salad, broccoli apple salad, chicken pot pie, macaroni and cheese, and much, much more.
Doodle’s also recently added another option to match today’s dining trends.
“Something we’ve started here lately is we’ve started charcuterie boxes,” said Grant. “Those have been popular.”
Charcuterie boxes create more of a picnic vibe by including finger foods such as salami, nuts, cheeses, fruits and crackers.
For Grant, menu expansions feed her sense of creativity by allowing her to continually test out new recipes that she comes across. She also likes to maintain a sense of flexibility by filling special order requests whenever possible to make her customers happy.
Looking down the road, Grant hopes to continue evolving her business. Her next goal is to offer grab and go lunch options to her customers.
“We’re going to get a refrigerator to put refrigerated stuff up front,” said Grant.
In the meantime, Grant and her staff will keep doing what they love, which is making each customer that comes to Doodle’s Cupcakes, Casseroles & More eager to come back.
“I love to cook for people that enjoy eating and like what I cook,” said Grant. “It makes me feel good to cook for people and them enjoy it.”