A new cupcake shop has opened up east of the Anacostia River. On the surface it looks and smells like any other cupcake shop in the District, but there's more to Olivia's Cupcakes than meets the eye.
The owners opened the shop on Minnesota Avenue Southeast as part of an effort to help the community they grew up in. The hard-hit area has long been on the cusp of gentrification, and the opening of a cupcake shop last month seemed to add the rosy topping to that movement – one, albeit, that’s shielded behind bullet-proof glass.
“The shop is beautiful, beautiful colors and such, and its just, a bullet proof, that just threw the whole thing off, that makes you scared to go in there and buy a cupcake,” Sharea Smith said.
The owners say with their two daughters working in the shop and other teenage employees, it was a matter of safety.
“It’s a protection and a deterrent, and as we know everyone who comes into our life isn't coming in for good... its just a deterrent,” owner Bob Bullock said.
Two miles down the road, a recent armed robbery at this gas station ended with the store clerk dead.
Residents in Southeast have become accustomed to their restaurants, shops, and gas stations looking like armored fortresses.
The owners say based on how the situation develops in the next year they may consider removing the bullet-proof glass.