—By Jane Snyder
Sara Coleman probably arose this morning a bit nervous. She was, after all, about to introduce the President of the United States to an estimated 2,000 people at today’s town hall meeting at Raleigh’s Broughton High School.
But surely she didn’t expect to become this week’s “Joe the Plumber.”
Coleman, owner of The Cupcake Shoppe, a stylish bakery on Glenwood Avenue that just yesterday celebrated its second year in business, gave a brief address from the perspective of a small-business owner who supports the administration’s efforts to reform healthcare in America.
Then she had the honor of introducing President Obama, and sat just behind him in full view of the television cameras.
When the president took the podium, he thanked Sara and informed the crowd that Sara had just given him a Cupcake Shoppe T-shirt.
“But no cupcakes!,” he deadpanned.
Though he is trying to improve the country’s health care system, he thinks cupcakes are a pretty healthy food, the president said, smiling.
He continued to invoke Sara’s name throughout his remarks, personalizing her plight as a small business owner, much as the third McCain-Obama debate did for the man who came to be known as Joe the Plumber.
Coleman’s business has expanded to include one full-time baker/ cake decorator and four employees who work up front, says Liza Zaytoun, who was manning the cupcake counter this afternoon. Zaytoun says that prior to baking, Coleman worked in pharmaceuticals, which one supposes would give Coleman extra perspective on health care.
Today’s special cupcake over at the Cupcake Shoppe is a pineapple cake with cherry buttercream. Pineapple for Hawaii, perhaps? Cherry for Washington?
All in all, it must have been a pretty sweet day for Sara the Baker.