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by Natalie Mikles

Some call it the cupcake economic theory. It’s an attempt to explain why cupcake boutiques, which continue to pop up all over the country, are making a profit when other small businesses and restaurants can’t make it.

When Doreen Durano opened her cupcake shop, Kupcakz, it was during the height of the recession. One year later, she’s not only making a profit but opening a second location and mixing in a new culinary enterprise.

In November, Durano will open Caramel Bakery and Dessert Bar in Brookside. On Wednesday, a second Kupcakz location, a kiosk at Woodland Hills Mall, will open.

Durano subscribes to that sweetest of economic theories, saying that people are willing to spend a little money for a little indulgence. A vacation, or even a steak dinner, may be outside the family budget, but a $4 cupcake can sneak its way in. Perhaps that cupcake theory will also apply to the creme brulee, tiramisu and tarts planned for Caramel.

Though Durano has become known in Tulsa for her gourmet cupcakes, there’s more to the culinary life of this classically trained chef who worked at the Ritz Carlton and in Las Vegas under Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio.

“I’ve always loved French pastry — the dainty tarts, the look and taste of it all,” she said.

Durano believes the Brookside location will be a good foodie-friendly market to present her French pastries, plated desserts and espresso.

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