Sprinkles of Magic
A young entrepreneur adds artistry to her delectable desserts
Text by Niambi Davis | Photos by Pamela L. Cowart-Rickman
Before Libby Leary opened her bakery in 2019, she contemplated names that reflected her background both as an emergency medical technician/paramedic and a baker. For a week, the proposed name “Lights, Sirens and Sugar” was the top contender. But her love for rainbows, unicorns, sprinkles and sparkles won out. Soon she settled on the name “A Sprinkle of Magic, Cupcakes and More.”
Libby creates A Sprinkle of Magic, Cupcakes and More out of the Centreville home she shares with her husband, Justin Leary; their two children, Alexandra and Sammy; and housemate Andrew Banks. She isn't the only family member with an emergency services background. Her husband is also a paramedic and her grandfather, the late Robert Moore, was active in the effort to create the first 911 dispatch system in Kennedyville, Maryland. Libby became a licensed paramedic in 2017 through a program offered at Chesapeake College after completing the emergency medical technician program at West Virginia’s Fairmont University. “The difference between an EMT and paramedic is the ability to perform basic vs. advanced life support,” she says.
She opened her baking business because she’s “always been into cooking and baking.” One of her fondest family memories to this day is baking sugar cookies from a recipe that’s over 100 years old. Her most popular items are custom cakes and cupcakes, she says. Bagels are also in high demand—when she has time to make them. In the fall, hot chocolate bombs top the list of requested items. When the spheres of chocolate filled with hot chocolate and marshmallows, crushed candy canes, or salted caramel are dropped into hot milk, they’re the equivalent of a decadent bath bomb for your mouth.
“I get requests for anything and everything under the sun. But for me it’s all about what my customers want,” she says. She loves creating gourmet cupcakes and cookies based on creative cues from her customers. “I love it when they’re specific and come to me with pictures, ideas, flowers, everything,” she says.
Every creation from A Sprinkle of Magic, Cupcakes and More is made from the same basic recipe, Libby says. “I tweak, add, subtract and substitute ingredients,” she says. “Sometimes I feel like the Count from Sesame Street in the way I come up with things: ‘One tablespoon of vanilla abstract—ah, ah, ah!’ ”
Her most memorable failure involved a fondant topsy-turvy cake made with multiple, slanted layers. “I pulled an all-nighter and ended up hating what I produced,” she says. Libby offered the cake free of charge to the customer, who insisted on paying the full price.
The beginning of 2020 brought an unexpected set of challenges to her family. Libby was 30 weeks pregnant with her son, Sammy, when the country was trying to get a handle on the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Ultimately, she left her paramedic position. The biggest challenge of 2021 was adding the job of homeschool teacher to her already full roster of responsibilities as a mother, wife and baker. She’s grateful that the support of her customers and the community has allowed her to stay at home with her children since April 2020.
“I’m content where I am at this point. But if the right situation arose, I’d love to take A Sprinkle of Magic, Cupcakes and More to a new brick-and-mortar bakery in Centreville,” she says. “It’s still a ways down the road, but you never know.”
To order desserts: A Sprinkle of Magic
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