CHANDLER, AZ — "Overwhelmingly amazingly fantastical."
That is how Lola Forbes, one of the owners and a co-chef at Spooky's Swirls, describes the attention the horror- and sci-fi-themed cupcakery, bakery, and mini-museum has received during its first two weeks in business.
"We’re gluten-free. We’re horror and sci-fi. We’re a museum of all things. And so how do you take all these things and make them make sense? We didn’t really know what the public response was going to be. It has been overwhelmingly amazingly fantastical. We could never have dreamed that we weren’t going to be a little mom and pop corner store bakery. It has turned into something almost bigger than us," she said.
Take a quick scroll through their Instagram and it is not difficult to see why.
There are cupcakes that look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters.
"The Carrie" is a vanilla bean-cupcake filled with strawberry jam, and topped with strawberry buttercream and a yellow tiara.
For any Star Wars fans out there, they have the "Carbonite Cupcake" -- devil's food cake, dark chocolate ganache, chocolate frosting, and topped with a chocolate mold of Han Solo encased in carbonite.
They even had a Demogorgon-inspired cupcake before the release of Netflix's latest Stranger Things season.
Last weekend, they had to close early because they ran out of stock and needed more time to prep and make more.
Other treats include brownies, cookies, cheesecake, sticky buns, and cotton candy, all of which are gluten-free, said Forbes.
Pricing varies between $2 for a mini-cupcake, $5 for a sticky bun, and $8 for the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man cupcake.
The shop opened earlier this month within the Zia Records Exchange shopping center near Alma School and Elliot roads in Chandler. There is a blue lighted sign that reads, "Spooky's Swirls," on the building's facade, and a ghost cartoon on the front door.
A few feet away from the calorie-stuffed display case is the museum -- a partnership with The Horror & SciFi Prop Preservation Association, HSPPA -- which features costumes and props from various horror and action movies, including Jeepers Creepers 2, Child's Play, The Running Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and What Dreams May Come.
Forbes said the idea to merge the cupcake shop and the museum came after she and her business partner and co-chef, Chris Szydlowski, attended Mad Monster Con, a horror-themed convention, in 2018.
There, they met James Azrael with the HSPPA.
"We happened to bring some Jason cupcakes and hang out with him the whole weekend. He is actually friends with Chris, my partner. They came together and started talking and realized some of their collection was synchronous," she said.
Ernesto Avina is also an owner.
The shop recently posted on Facebook that it would reduce its hours to give them more time to prep and make more desserts.
Right now, Forbes and Szydlowski are the store's only two employees. They're opening and closing, prepping and making the desserts, while also working the front counter.
"Thanks so much for the overwhelmingly awesome totally unexpected response in Spooky's Swirls! We are totally upgrading in many aspects, although still being a 2 person kitchen, things may sell out. In hopes of everyone getting a chance to enjoy our work we may limit items," the Facebook post said.
IF YOU GO:
3029 N Alma School Rd #117 Chandler, Arizona 85224