Lori Andre | June 13, 2024

Spotlight On The Woman Behind The Business: Pam Rose

I am always seeking inspiration from women who do things that are completely different than me because I love an opportunity to learn. In this installment of “Spotlight on Women Behind the Business”, I sat down with Pam Rose who owns Swirlz Cupcakes in Lincoln Park.

I have been a loyal fan of Swirlz Cupcakes for years. Fortunately (or unfortunately) Swirlz is on my way home from work. The temptation to stop myself from running in to grab a cupcake is extremely challenging. Everything is made from scratch and the ingredients Pam uses are of the best quality. Butter cream, fresh buttermilk, organic flour, do I need to go on? She never cuts corners and never skimps on the quality. The assortment is ever-changing, but my absolute favorite is the bittersweet chocolate cupcake.  It’s hard to describe how light and delicate the cupcake is. You have to trust me…or better yet, try one for yourself. Or, maybe two!

Pam’s business has grown over the years and she has expanded to Whole Foods and other local grocers. What struck me the most about Pam is here incredible tenacity, attention to detail, her passion, and, most importantly, her kindness. I hope you enjoy this installment. And, when you finish your cupcake let me know how you like it!  (See interview below.)

xo Lori


Q: What is the name of your business? Swirlz Cupcakes

Q: And, what is your business? An artisanal bakery, specializing in cupcakes and cakes, including full lines of Gluten-Free and Vegan Gluten-Free baked goods

Q: What are you most thankful for? My husband and daughter and a houseful of fur babies, fish and a most special feathered friend. And to be fortunate enough to still have parents.

Q: What nourishes your soul? Cooking, cooking, cooking and sharing fabulous meals with family and friends.

Q:  Where do you find inspiration? Nature. To quote E.O.Wilson,"Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction."

Q:  What do you admire about yourself? I'm tenacious.

Q:  What’s your superpower? I truly believe that I'm able to "see" almost anyone's gift. (I also do not require much sleep, a fact that I'm not proud of as I understand the health benefits of rest)

Q:  What does a perfect day look like for you? Farmer's market, cook for family, sit on the deck and tell stories.

Q:  How would you describe your style? Unfortunately, random. My days are complicated so I need to dress appropriately for specific activities. This reflects as not having much continuity, or "a look."

Q:  When you were just a kid, did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up? I was always inspired by beautiful foods and ingredients, cookbooks and cultural cuisines. I'm delighted to be creating beautiful pastries with talented chefs.

Q:  What was your first job? Working for a gregarious and beautiful woman who was a multi-line furniture rep in the Merchandise Mart. It was wildly fun and I fell in love with materials and design.

Q:  Describe your greatest accomplishment. Raising a kind daughter who is a fierce defender of the oceans.

Q:  What did you learn from your biggest failure? "Dig deeper." (Don Boroian)

Q:  Best career advice for a person just starting out in business. Hire a good accountant, be prepared to make sacrifices, ask for help and keep moving forward.

Q:  Best life advice? Fall in love with life first, a person, later.

Q:  How do you find balance between work and home? I believe I may be an epic failure at the "balance" part but I am tenacious, so I keep trying to improve.

Q:  You have been in business for 13 years. Why do you think you have been so successful? Our store culture has been to attempt to make sure that every customer feels special and taken care of, as if they'd just happened upon a magical oasis. In return, Swirlz has been the recipient of loyal customers and stories about how our cupcakes have delighted people from all over the country and world.

Q:  What inspires you about Chicago? The people, the neighborhoods, the food, the lake and our museums.

Q:  What movie, no matter how many times you’ve seen it, would you still watch again? The Wizard of Oz

Q:  Is there a book that you would recommend that every young woman should read? If they are entrepreneurs :The Popcorn Report by Faith Popcorn and Boss Life by Paul Downs, in general though: Gwinna by Barbara Helen Berger

Satisfy your temptation online at http://www.swirlzcupcakesshop.com or in store at 705 W. Belden Ave Chicago, Illinois 60614.  773.404.2253



  • Peggy says...
    On March 26, 2019

    I was on the Cupcake Crawl year’s ago. You were, hands down, the winner!! Great job!!

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