Open Table Event for Brides and an AMA with Kat (our bridal consultant)

Hey there brides + grooms!!! February 23rd from 12-3pm we will be hosting an open table tasting event for you! During this time, you will have the opportunity to have a mini consultation with our bridal consultant Kat, try our mini bites + wedding cake flavors (champagne-champaign, chocolate and vanilla with icing options: vanilla, triple berry preserves, salted caramel) and hear more about the vendors we work with. BONUS: 10% total discount if you book and put deposit down that day!

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What is trendy in the wedding industry currently?

The wedding industry is always changing, but a few trends are taking center stage as of late. Lots of brides are choosing "minimalist" wedding themes. They are picking monotone color schemes or choosing accent pieces to liven up their weddings instead of a mixture of various colors.

Natural wood, greens, and colorful florals seem popular with brides, followed but clusters of candles nestled in flowing greenery. A few stand-out pieces are all the decorations that some brides need, which is different than the décor style of weddings past. The monochromatic color scheme helps these pieces pop and creates that effortless yet romantic look.

What kind of desserts are popular? Dessert tables, cutting cakes, etc.?

This year, I have seen a lot of "naked" cakes with live floral accents. The naked look is achieved by using minimal icing where bits of cake peak through. This style of cake fits into that minimalist theme that seems to be popular lately.

In addition to that, brides are using dessert tables to give their guests more variety than just a cake. Items like mini cupcakes, cheesecake bites, brownie bars, and macarons have been popular with couples.

What is the number one priority for brides?

I think the number one priority for brides is the vision of their wedding space. Once a bride has the details of the space, she can really start putting together a vision for her theme. Once a theme is established, the bride can focus on bringing her dessert/cake options into reality, which is where we come in!

What is your favorite part of working with brides (and husbands?)

My favorite part of working with brides is the creativity that I can be a part of. Some brides come in looking for ideas and suggestions and others know exactly what they want. Either way, I get to help narrow down a vision that helps each bride have a custom Hopscotch cake. All of our cakes are custom, and not one cake is a replica of another.

What is your advice for every bride, regardless of budget?

Figure out what will work best for your style as a couple. Desserts are an extension of the wedding itself. It's important to know what you, as a couple want. Being realistic is also key when shopping for dessert. There are more things that go into customizing an order than just style, flavor and look. Take your time and remember to have fun with it!

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MEET THE MAKER: Lisa Kesler

Lisa Kesler is a painter, printmaker and illustrator. She is also a bad-ass - most recently, she kickstarted a campaign to fund bringing a press into her studio. She offers workshops and classes at her studio in Tolono, but she will be teaching a valentine’s day workshop at the Hop this Friday!

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You have had a career many artisans could only dream of, what would be on the highlight reel? 

Every time I see my work in a public space it is a special thrill for me because I know it was chosen to be seen my many, many people and to improve their day in some tiny way. 

HOLY SHIT, you have a press now! Now what??? 

Well, to a printmaker, the addition of a Vandercook press to their studio is a huge game-changer. I reached out to the community for support to help me acquire my vintage letterpress recently. It will allow me to print larger images faster and with more consistency. I will be able to print fine art prints or commercial work, like posters, and to teach workshops and educate interested visitors about the history of graphic design and the printed word. 


You teach a plethora of classes, of all skill levels - what is your teaching philosophy?
 

I want to give people a place to explore their creative side and get the satisfaction that we all feel when we create something with our own hands. My workshop students range from beginners to professional artists. Beginners enjoy the camaraderie of working on a project alongside friends and experienced artists like to step outside of their usual routine and try a new medium or learn a new skill. 

What is your favorite treat at The Hop?  

Cupcakes are always my favorite. Anything with nuts and/or chocolate!

MEET THE MAKERS: Slowly But Surely

We couldn’t be more happy for proud of these two - both Hopscotch Alum (Caroline was with us from the start!). Over the last couple years we have watched their styles and talent grow as individuals. Their newest collab has us gushing over the whimsical and vintage details and we can NOT wait to see what is next from these two!

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You guys are both young forces - what brought you together to start Slowly But Surely?

Madelyn: Funny enough, we actually met through us both working at Hopscotch. Well, I guess it was initially through following each other on instagram (as all modern day friendships start), but we first met in person at The Hop. Even though we only worked one shift together, we got along really well and that blossomed into us launching Slowly But Surely. Before SBS we both had previous artistic endeavors, but I think that having one another to keep us accountable and on track is really a plus. 


What's the story behind the name Slowly But Surely?

Caroline: At first we did a lot of spit balling and brainstorming to try to come up with a name. After a few months of back and forth, "Slowly But Surely" got brought up and it fit super well, mainly because we are both procrastinators... We happened to get really lucky that our styles also meshed so well. 

Tell me about your product line and how you choose what will make it to market.

Caroline: Stylistically, I make a lot of nostalgic pieces, like the Kitchen Cabinet Print is full of things that I can still find in my mom's cupboard. While right now, we predominantly have art prints and earrings, we have plans for more. We have goals to expand our product line to be not just pretty things, but useful things too, like bags, tea towels, and ceramics. 

Madelyn: I think that since we both bring different skills to the table, it creates a lot of potential within our product line. For me, SBS is a way to make things that aren't necessarily commission based and it allows me to have more of a "for fun" mindset and to really explore all kinds of things that I am interested in. We have a lot of big ideas and they are all things that we love so our products are all made to the highest quality. 

What is your favorite goodie at The Hop?

Caroline: The sticky toffee pudding is my favorite desert of all time! 

Madelyn: I love it all, but anything with matcha is my weakness! 

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2018, you were great!

I’s hard to sit down and truly reflect during the holiday season. We’re swamped here, obviously, fueling your shopping trips and family gatherings - so taking a minute to take a deep breath and remember what has made our first (calendar) year here so magical has been almost an afterthought. We are in awe and in thanks for the thousands of customers and patrons that make this place home to us.

This past year we have been privileged to be a part with Boneyard Art Festival in collaboration with Southside Elementary School. We will be participating in Boneyard again this year! We also had the honor or hosting Gather for Good, a marketplace that is committed to giving 10% back to local charities.

Sugar addicts unite! You guys ate 4,273 macarons, 6,191 cupcakes, 15,653 cookies, 1,014 cakes and drank 4,164 fancy drinks. We hosted 20+ workshops, dinners, and pop-ups. We also added 5 new employees and a wedding coordinator to our team!

We made a few updates to building, adding a second awning to the bakery door, flower hangers and picnic benches to the backyard (yes! we have a backyard!!!).

Thank you, Champaign-Urbana and beyond, for supporting and loving us.

Cheers to a New Year!

All our love,

HOPSCOTCH

Christmas Pre-order

Have your self a Merry Little Christmas with some help from The Hop

Pre-Order items available for pickup on Monday 12/24

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Peppermint Cheesecake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

6"-$35

10"-$55

Gingerbread Cake with Salted Caramel

6"-$42

8”- $52

Bûche de Noël with Woodland Meringues

$45

Dessert Sampler Box:

Salted Caramel Brownies

Orange Cranberry Port Bars

Gooey Butter Cake (gf)

Serves 15-20

$35

Holiday Macaron Box

12 cookies - $15

Cardamom Pear Pound Cake

$18

Eggnog Cupcakes with Cream cheese icing

12  for $35

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Toffee Buttercream

12 for $35

Chocolate  Peppermint Cupcakes (gluten free + vegan)

12 for $35

Winter Berry Crumble

( Gluten-Free or Vegan or Regular)

$12

Flourless Chocolate Fudge Torte (Gluten-free)

6” $35

10” $55

Key-Lime + Cranberry Pie

$35

Orders will be ready to pickup on Monday, December 24 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at our shop at 802 w John Street Champaign, IL.

* All orders must be prepaid- no substitutions - all orders must be submitted by 12/22

Please call 607-5436 for any questions or to place an order

Upcoming December Events & Workshops

Buttercream 101 $50 - December 6th, 5:30 - 2 hours

Buttercream piping for beginners! Join Hopscotch in learning beginner piping techniques, color mixing, flavor additions, garnishing and recipe creation! You will be able to take home 6 decorated cupcakes, piping bags, and a tip set. Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions. We will provide all tools and garnishes, and iced coffee and tea. Stop in early to grab another beverage or snack!

This will be a reoccurring class and prerequisite for our next class: Cake decorating 101

Sugar Cookie Decoration! $10 - December 10th through the 14th, 3:35 - .5 hours

Join us in decorating cookies! Each kid will be able to ice and decorate 6 cookies to take home. Space is limited to 10 kids a class- sign up in store today!

Sugar Cookie Decoration! $10 - December 17th through the 21th, 3:35 - .5 hours

Join us in decorating cookies! Each kid will be able to ice and decorate 6 cookies to take home. Space is limited to 10 kids a class- sign up in store today!

Card making: Letters to Santa $10 - December 17th & 18th, 4:15 - .5 hours

Come write and decorate your letter to Santa! We will supply all the things Santa loves - sparkles, construction paper ad stickers! Space limited to 10 kids - sign up in store today!

Holiday Wreath Painting Shindig $50 - December 13th, 5:30 - 2 hours

During this shindig, we will create a floral holiday wreath painting! During class, we will create flora-like shapes that will be used in your painting and explore the use of acrylic-gouache paint and an ink pen to add details to wreath painting. For the class fee, you will take home a completed painting, paint, pilot pen and a paintbrush.

Kelly Hieronymus is a local artist and color enthusiast who has created a fun color-filled class to celebrate artists of all skill levels and ages. Kids 10+ are welcome to attend with a parent present.

Cake Assembly 101 $100 - December 14th, 5:30

Learn to bake proper layers, tort a cake into layers, fill and smooth sides with basics on decorating and storage with a 6” cake

Old Town Flowers Holiday Centerpiece Class $45 - December 18th, 5:30

Come make a Christmas centerpiece worthy of gracing your table for the Holidays! We'll be talking about structure, support and design as students create centerpieces using various materials. Evergreens, dried/fresh fruit, pine cones, berries, and some bling will be available as well as a base for each centerpiece. We'll listen to some Christmas carols and have jolly time!

Please come early to purchase your drinks and/or sweetie. Kids are welcome with an adult as a helper!

Your instructor for this workshop will be Joan Jach from Old Town Flowers. Joan is a flower farmer and crafter with a keen interest in teaching folks how to bring more Nature, sustainability and joy into their lives. She has taught classes for every age from kindergarten to college and really enjoys when students ask her questions!

Recipe: Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are a must every holiday season: Valentines, Fourth of July, Halloween and of course, the winter holiday season. Use your favorite icing recipe or sprinkle them with sanding sugar to make a semi-sparkly treat! This is our in house sugar cookie recipe:

SUGAR COOKIE DOUGH

INGREDIENTS

1 lb butter, soft

1 1/4 c sugar

1.5 eggs

1/4 t vanilla

1/4 salt

1/4 almond extract

3 3/4 c flour

1 t baking powder

PREPARATION

  1. Combine butter and sugar in a mixer with paddle attachment and mix on low speed for 10 minutes - until light and fluffy

  2. Add eggs, vanilla, salt ,almond and baking powder, mix on low speed for 2 minutes.

  3. Add flour a little at a time until dough forms.

  4. Wrap in cling wrap and chill overnight before rolling.

  5. Roll and cut in to shapes. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes.

TIPS

Roll + cut shapes and freeze before baking.

LOCAL MAKERS

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One of the most important things to us is shopping small. We are a small business and your support through the years has attributed directly to our success and we are forever grateful for you. Shopping small is also voting with your dollars - its voting to support and enrich our economic community. In our shop we carry a variety of local goods, we’ve compiled a list of our local vendors for you to keep in mind as your shop this holiday season. <3

Boneyard Bow Ties

Piper Pottery

This Loves That

Same Street Textiles

My Pipapo

Old Town Flowers

Carol Farnum Art

Page Roasting Co

Big Grove Apiaries

Sunshine Studio

Polished Prints

Jarahs Naturals

Polyvinyl Records

Weiskamp Printing

Wild & Free

And MANY more women-run businesses from around the state and Midwest.

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

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Black Friday not your thing? Yeah, ours either. Swing by the shop (and other locally owned businesses) for Small Business Saturday! We will have a few deals going on:

25% OFF ALL MAGAZINES - Sweet Paul, Cherry Bombe, Short Stacks, Driftless and more!

DRINK SPECIAL - $3 FANCY DRINKS! (This includes the new drink menu!!!)

LUNCH SPECIAL - Your choice of a canned drink, sandwich and chips.

BUY A MUG get a coffee drink!

ALL CANDLES 10% OFF

We will also have a 50% off cart - filled with all sorts of goodies!