God made Robyn Selders a junkie — a cupcake junkie.
So what else would the 35-year-old former teacher call her new shop but Cupcake Junkie? And she's open for business at 12240 Coursey Blvd.
Her shop will hold a "family fun day" from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday with a DJ, "CrackPop"-flavored popcorn samples and face painting. The store's regular hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Opening her own cupcakery was always something Selders wanted to do but never thought would happen.
"This place is a complete surprise to me," the north Baton Rouge native said.
For the past five years, Selders had been teaching the Read 180 program at Woodlawn Middle School. But in 2016, she didn't feel "the butterflies" that usually came with the start of a new school year.
"I didn't get that nervous feeling, that anticipation," she said. "It was routine, maybe too routine. I knew what it was going to be."
At the same time, her pastor at Rose Hill Church had been giving sermons that connected with her.
"He said, 'Some of you are working at jobs that you're not supposed to be at right now. Your season has passed for that,'" Selders said. "That's when I got enough faith in March to give my resignation to the School Board and principal."
Her plan for this year was simple: sell cupcakes like she had been doing for the past three years, substitute teach and drive/deliver food for Waitr. That would be enough to pay her bills.
But throughout the end of the school year and in the summer, she kept getting messages, signs she felt were from God.
"Every single thing that has happened here has just been a phenomenal blessing," she said. "Everyday, it was more blessings."
In the spring, she checked her bank account to see if she had received her school paycheck and was surprised to see that she had been paid all of her money through mid-August due to her resignation. With that money and a business line of credit, she could quit selling her baked good to shops on Scenic Highway liked she had been doing.
She could open a shop of her own.
"I believe everything happens for a reason," Selders said. "Everything is ordained and orchestrated by God. I said, 'Lord, are you giving me the money I need without me having to go sell on the streets? What's going on?'"
She had her goal, but she didn't know how or when it would happen. But, she said, God did.
While on a Waitr delivery in May, she met Marlene Most, of Most Delightful Foods, at the farmers market downtown. Most had owned a commercial kitchen but was leaving the building and selling her equipment — a commercial oven, racks, a prep table and pans. It was a deal Selders couldn't pass up.
When the property on Coursey Boulevard became available, the spot already had a vent hood and grease trap. It was something she could afford, too. She put in her notice for Waitr and on July 3 got the keys to the building. Two days later, her friends and family were helping to spruce it up.
"Everything from the waxing of the floors, the appliances came in under budget, putting together the furniture … there were so many angels along the way," she said.
While looking around the remodeled space, she remembered when she was 26 years old and had what she called a "quarter-life crisis," when she felt she could do more.
"Unknowingly then, I had found my purpose," she said. "I found it in a bag of flour. My purpose was to bake. The minute I stepped out on faith, on what I believed what God was calling me to do, all of the sudden, he just opened doors."