Intern Odochi Ibe heads across the Anacostia to visit Olivia’s, a cupcakery in Fairlawn, the city’s first cupcake shop to open in Southeast east of the river. Besides its location (and prices), Olivia’s is a bit different from its competitors in one glaring way: There’s bulletproof glass.

Yet, the very existence of the glassy barrier—the kind of thing you expect to see at cheap Chinese and fried chicken carry-outs, not precious bastions of buttercream—suggests the area still has a ways to go before shedding its neighborhood-in-transition label.

“It broke my heart to do that, but it’s a deterrent,” says proprietor Cindy Bullock, who runs the cupcake shop alongside her husband, Bob Bullock, and their daughters, Kristina, 20, and Alexis, 18.

“Several people asked (about the glass) and said, ‘It’s a beautiful shop, its unfortunate that you have it up,’ but we had to have it,” Bullock says.

“I have owned several business in this area and we have been robbed several times,” she explains. “We wanted to make [the shop] elegant and beautiful, but because of the teenagers and having my children here we wanted to protect them.”

Olivia’s has picked up loyal customers who are hungry for sweet treats, and sing the shop’s praises. Read the rest at Young & Hungry.

Photo by Odochi Ibe

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