by: JOSH KULLA - Mary Anne Miller is a former child abuse investigator who grew worn down by the job. She turned to baking to set her life on another path.Mary Anne Miller is just following her dream.

More than nine years of working for the state of Oregon investigating child abuse left Miller emotionally drained and looking for new options. So she looked around her house and quickly spotted ... cupcakes.

“From what I came from, this is an absolute 180-degree change,” said Miller, who opened her new business, Seriously Cupcakes, last month in the space on Town Center Loop formerly occupied by the Loop Café and Wilsonville Coffee Company before that.

Located at 29030 SW Town Center Loop, Seriously Cupcakes requires little in the way of explanation. It serves coffee and espresso drinks using beans roasted by the Silver Falls Coffee Company. And it serves fresh cupcakes and muffins baked each morning by Miller and her mother, Patty Hoppe.

“You have stresses, but they’re different stresses than working for a bureaucratic organization,” Miller said. “Baking is very therapeutic for me. I love baking.”

The idea originated about a year ago, she said. And it happened during the midst of misfortune.

As Miller sat recovering from serious knee surgery she began to investigate of the possibility of opening her own business. The “what” and “where” of that idea, however, kept her busy for the next six months as she looked outside her Silverton home for the ideal metro area location.

Lake Oswego and other cities proved less than ideal because of existing coffee shops and related businesses. But Wilsonville stood out because it has no independent coffee shops.

“There’s no doughnut house, there isn’t anything,” said Hoppe. “The only competitors we have are the big stores. That’s the encouraging part of doing this.”

“I located this spot and felt I was in a great location in a wonderful town,” said Miller. “It’s actually right between where my mother and I live. I thought it was a great location just because of the area and commute.”

The mother of three children, 13, 12 and 7, Miller looked to her oldest for inspiration.

“The cupcake piece comes from my oldest daughter,” she said. “She’s almost 14, and she got really obsessed with opening her own cupcake shop. I’ve been kind of watching the craze and watching her devotion to what she wanted to do, and I thought it would be a great thing for our family and I hope to pass it on to her as well.”

From the family members who share store duties to the families they hope to attract to their shop with a children’s play area, the theme of family runs through ever facet of Seriously Cupcakes.

And most kids like nothing more than fresh strawberries and fruit, especially if there’s a bit of sugar involved.

“Our signature cupcake is probably the vanilla bean cupcake with fresh strawberry buttercream frosting,” Miller said. “I cut up the strawberries fresh every day for these, and they are quite the treat.”

In addition to working for the state, Miller and Hoppe also ran a wedding coordinating business out of their home for five years on a part-time basis. But with other jobs, they both came to the realization they weren’t able to devote as much time to it as they would like.

“So we had to make that decision,” Hoppe said.

After finding what they feel is an ideal location, they took the plunge.

Talking with neighboring businesses has only reinforced that choice, they say.

“I’ve known some people who live in the community, we talked to other people in the space here,” Miller said. “There were so many more pros than cons it was kind of a no-brainer. And we’ve got such a wonderful reception from everyone in the community, it’s been breathtaking. People have taken us under their wing like we’re family.”

For more information, call 503-570-2888 or visit

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