City of Seattle

Ed Murray, Mayor


SUBJECT:   Mayor recognizes The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co. for its creativity, growth and community commitment
5/15/2013  12:00:00 PM
Joe Mirabella  (206)733-9810

Mayor recognizes The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co. for its creativity,
growth and community commitment

In Good Company business recognition program

SEATTLE – Mayor Mike McGinn recognized Belltown-based The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Company for their growth, creativity, and commitment to their local community on the 4th anniversary of the founding of their business.

"Small business owners are the backbone of our local economy, creating jobs and supporting our neighborhoods," said Mayor Mike McGinn. "It's inspiring to see the commitment that Yellow Leaf Cupcake owners Tony and Michael have to their Belltown neighborhood and local community, and the passion they bring to work every day."

A part of the Seattle Jobs Plan, the In Good Company program is an ongoing showcase of businesses that spotlights one locally-owned business every month for being unconventional, transformative, and exemplary. There are a lot of incredible businesses in Seattle, and if your business is recognized here, you know that you're in good company.

The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Company opened in May 2009 with just two employees, who remain the owners of the company today. Over the past four years, they have seen double digit increases each year, finding tremendous success during the strain of the economic downturn.

They specifically located their business in the Belltown neighborhood for the opportunity and potential they saw in the neighborhood, and for the impact they believed they could have on the community.

"Tony and I live and work in Belltown. We feel that giving back to our immediate community is the best way to help our community grow," said Michael Hein, co-owner and co-founder of The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co. "We like to think that we have been part of making our community better, and we want to see this neighborhood become the best neighborhood in Seattle."

Their business mentality is to promote one's own business and product, while also promoting the businesses around them, as a powerful way to influence the success of both.

"We are 100% committed to keeping our ingredients local, fresh, and of the highest quality, knowing that it shows in the customer satisfaction and in everything we do," said Tony Portugal, co-owner and co-founder of The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co. "We feel that we are leaders in what we do, and have introduced our guests to a sophisticated cupcake experience."

The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Company has created well over 200 different flavors of cupcakes, including unique flavors such as pancakes n' bacon, tomato soup, and croquembouche. They are one of the few cupcake shops in Seattle that does not mass produce its product, making everything 100% from scratch, in small batches daily.

As a ‘destination business,' the company has attracted customers to Belltown, from local shoppers to visiting international tourists. In addition to bringing shoppers to the neighborhood, they also have a firm commitment to give back to others in their local community.

Whether through cupcake decorating classes or donations of cupcakes to local non-profit organizations, their passion for community shines through in the ways they engage with their neighboring businesses and organizations. Throughout the year, they do many different charity events, focusing on the Belltown neighborhood, as well as the Pike Place Market Foundation. Neighboring non-profit organization Plymouth Housing Group frequently receives donations of cupcakes for their previously homeless residents.
This small, independent, specialty business embraces the creativity that can be harnessed through investing in, and empowering, each person on staff as an equal player on their team.

"We have been inspired by our customers, by other local businesses, by amazing ideas, and most importantly by our employees," said Michael Hein, emphasizing that as a team they are not afraid to try new things.

"Any ideas that we have for flavors, we are allowed to be as creative as we want," said lead baker Jessica Tweed. "Yellow Leaf is more like a family."

Owners Michael and Tony see themselves not only in the business of cupcakes but in the business of empowering a legacy of innovation in their industry. Hiring up-and-coming culinary students, they say, is the best way to mold a person's skills and confidence.

"Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co. is a great example of the new entrepreneur who seeks out the right marketplace, then moves there to start their business," said Maud Daudon, president & CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. "Michael and Tony wisely chose Seattle's urban core as the place where they and their model for locally sourced, small batch cupcakes would thrive. We hope their story will be an inspiration to others who are turning their passion into a business."

Businesses recognized in the In Good Company program receive several meaningful prizes to help their business grow and celebrate their employees, including a mayoral proclamation; a high-quality video profile featured on the Seattle Channel; a one-year membership or an upgraded tier of membership at the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber; and a special gift basket for employees containing food, drinks and prizes from some of Seattle's most beloved local companies.

The highlighted businesses are chosen by the City of Seattle's Office of Economic Development and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce by a committee of staff members who meet quarterly to select businesses to recognize. Individuals and businesses may also suggest recommendations via the Office of Economic Development.

For nomination criteria and more information, please visit the In Good Company website page.
In Good Company is brought to you by: Mayor Mike McGinn as part of the Seattle Jobs Plan;
Seattle Office of Economic Development; Seattle Channel; Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce; Flying Spot; and 206 inc.

Prize partners include: Alaska Airlines Board Room Airport Lounges; Banya 5; DRY Soda; Fran's Chocolates; Seattle Mariners; Theo Chocolate; The Crumpet Shop; and Uber.

Seattle Jobs Plan
Mayor Mike McGinn's vision for next generation economic development that creates a sustainable economy with shared prosperity in Seattle was launched in August 2010. It consists of new and existing policies, programs and investments designed to help create quality jobs, protect the environment, and ensure that taxpayers get true value from the city of Seattle's public investments. Visit

City's Office of Economic Development (OED)
OED supports a healthy business environment and empowers companies to grow and compete. We provide services directly to businesses through advocacy, retention and expansion assistance, and workforce development. Visit to access city services for businesses, and for more information about our office, visit

Seattle Channel
SEATTLE CHANNEL is the award winning local TV station that puts video to work to build and strengthen community. SEATTLE CHANNEL presents programs on cable television (channel 21 on Comcast and Broadstripe) and via the Internet to help citizens connect with their city.

Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
The Seattle Metropolitan (Seattle Metro) Chamber of Commerce is the largest and most diverse network of influential business leaders in the Puget Sound region. Founded in 1882 by local business leaders, the Chamber today is an independent organization of 2,200 businesses representing a regional workforce of approximately 700,000 people. Visit

Yellow Leaf Cupcake Company
After traveling America in search of the perfect cupcake, the dynamic team of Tony Portugal and Michael Hein decided it was time to create their own "perfect cupcake". Settling in Seattle, Washington, the two decided the Pacific Northwest was the ideal location to set-up shop and start on their dream. Both Tony and Mike grew-up in families that always showed a love and passion for food. Tony in the Southwest, Mike in the Midwest, the two bring with them the determination of West Texas and the tenacity of Chicago. Tony gives great credit and admiration to his mother who taught him the fundamentals and love of all things food. Mike gives praise to his aunt and uncle who made baking their life love and passion. It takes strong influences to drive success, and with that The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Company was born.

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