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Alumni Spotlight

Anna Carrier

Anna Carrier

Dual JD-MBA grad finds entrepreneurial dreams in baking

December 21, 2016

“When you’re doing what you love, it doesn’t feel like work.”

Those are the words of Anna Carrier, a 2009 dual law school and MBA graduate of West Virginia University . From that statement and description, you would think she was talking about practicing law, but that’s not the case. The College of Business and Economics alumna is describing her role as the co-owner of The Cupcakerie, a cupcake bakery in downtown Morgantown.

Carrier grew up in Morgantown, graduating from University High School and going on to earn both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at WVU. She had dreams of being an entrepreneur, and her unique path lead her to achieving those dreams.

“I never intended to practice law. I wanted a MBA to do something in business, whether it was working for a corporation or starting my own business,” she said. “Starting my own business was definitely my preference, but who knows how long that can take if you don’t have an opportunity like this. I figured if I had a law degree to support my MBA, I would be more marketable, so that’s why I did both.”

Upon graduation, she worked for one year as an associate at the law firm Hamstead, Williams & Shook, where she met and worked with “wonderful” people. It was there that her career started falling into place, as she met her now business partner, Janet Williams. Williams works as a paralegal, and the two ladies found they shared passions that translated into an entrepreneurial partnership.

“My business partner, Janet, and I talked about cooking and wine numerous times. That was kind of our passion,” she said. “Baking was kind of on the side for our family and friends. All the big cities had cupcake shops, and we felt like Morgantown is just growing so quickly and was in need of something like this. She and I thought we would be the ones to do it, and it turns out we were.”

Now, in its sixth year of operation, the business is a standout in the Morgantown community, being named Best of Morgantown by Morgantown Magazine for five consecutive years. She attributes this individuality and attraction to the quality of their product. 

“We worked really hard to get a really good product because we knew that’s what would bring customers back. We have worked really hard to find the freshest and finest ingredients. And we bake from scratch every day,” Carrier said.

And each day, she says she looks back to B&E and the College of Law to those degrees she’s earned to help continue to make The Cupcakerie a success, whether it’s looking at compliance with the Mon County Health Department or doing the taxes and staying on top of the market and competition.

“[My favorite part of owning my own business] is the variety of what I get to do, so one day I could come in and just do bills and taxes. The next day, I’m doing dishes and scrubbing the floor. I like that. I don’t like to do the same thing every single day,” she said.

Though her journey to being a baking connoisseur was different than most, she attributes her love for the art back to spending her days with her grandmother in the kitchen.

“My grandmother passed away about a year and a half ago, and I would say she was one of my biggest baking influences,” she said. “She was never afraid to let me in the kitchen with her. So many people say, ‘Oh, kids shouldn’t be in the kitchen,’ but she always let me help.”