For a year now, the Buttercream Cupcake Lady has happily trucked around Philadelphia, soothing the sweet teeth of her adoring public at locations she announces in advance through social networks - until yesterday.
As soon as the Cupcake Lady pulled to a stop on Market Street near 33rd at high noon, "business-compliance" enforcers and Philadelphia police pounced, confiscating her fully loaded truck.
"Three enforcement guys came out with badges blazing," said Kate Carrara aka Cupcake Lady. "Scared the crap out of me. The three cops with them were looking at me like, 'We can't believe we're doing this.'
"And I'm like, there's crack deals a block away and three cops are surrounding the Cupcake Lady? I mean, really?"
They confiscated her red velvet cupcakes with cream-cheese frosting, her banana cake with Nutella buttercream, her chocolate cake with chocolate ganache - this Daily News reporter does not have the heart to go on.
"I'm licensed as a roamer, like an ice-cream truck that plays a song, sells some stuff and moves on," Carrara said.
"I have a permit to park at LOVE Park on Wednesdays but most of Center City and University City are off-limits."
Carrara, a former lawyer, said that the badge flashers were business- compliance officers from the city's Department of Licenses & Inspections.
But L&I Commissioner Fran Burns told the Daily News, "It wasn't us. We don't confiscate trucks."
The mayor's office agreed, directing the Daily News to the Philadelphia Parking Authority. Spokeswoman Linda Miller did not return a phone call.
The finger-pointing raised suspicions in this reporter, who asked Carrara if, after writing a $200 check to the "City of Philadelphia" and retrieving her truck from an unmarked garage on 10th Street near Wharton, she noticed any cupcakes missing.
"No," she said, "but some of them were really smooshed."