A sweet ride

Imagine this: a two-level bus filled with cupcakes and coffee.

Well, sugar and caffeine lovers don't have to imagine. They can experience this unique reality courtesy of Bettie's Cakes, a cupcakery cafE in Saratoga Springs that has a double-decker bus parked in the parking lot of Hewitt's on Western Avenue in Guilderland daily. The circa 1963 bus, straight from London, sells cupcakes, coffee and other hot beverages on the first level and houses a seating area on the second level.

"We wanted something that was totally different and unique we're the only mobile cafE in the U.S. and can seat 28 on what we call 'the skydeck,'" said co-owner Lorraine Murphy, who found the bus on Craigslist, picked it up from Los Angeles and attempted to drive it cross country before it broke down. "People notice [the bus] and we've gotten great exposure. We have companies wanting to hire us for promotional days at their businesses and will offer booking for birthday parties, college events, anything that might need us."

Murphy owns Bettie's Cakes with her husband, John; they opened the cafE at 454 Broadway just before Thanksgiving and the bus opened for business right before Christmas. They chose Hewitt's because of its visibility from the street and its ability to reach another range of clients. The cafE embodies the spirit of the '50s, with a black and white checkered floor, quirky furniture and a jukebox. Murphy said she wanted the cafE to rehash the values of that time period.

"It's kind of that whole feeling of glamour and slower pace of life. We wanted to create a family environment, somewhere people could go to have quality time with the family, and there really wasn't anything like that in Saratoga," said Murphy. "We came up with the name Bettie because it was a popular name during the '50s with famous faces like Betty Crocker, Betty Page. It means 'beautiful girl.'"

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