Growing up in Indonesia, Candace Nelson baked cupcakes when she craved American desserts. After working as an investment banker in San Francisco and meeting her husband and business partner Charles, she opened her first cupcake bakery, Sprinkles, in Beverly Hills in 2005. Now a national phenomenon with 23 stores, an ever-expanding menu of treats and countless celebrity fans, Sprinkles has practically become synonymous with the cupcake craze. Based in Los Angeles, Candace has traveled extensively and talks to Indagare here about her favorite destinations, travel rituals and what’s next on her bucket list.
Tell us about your early years in Indonesia; how did it impact the way you view the world? Have you ever returned?
I spent part of my childhood on the island of Sumatra, where I developed a global perspective and cultural sensitivity at a young age. The experience also gave me a sense of national pride and appreciation for the freedoms I enjoyed back in my home country. I have returned to Indonesia, but to visit Bali with my husband for vacation.
What are some of your favorite Indagare-planned journeys and what made each so special?
I have loved every Indagare journey so far! A standout trip was the one my family took to Corsica. We had just landed on the beautiful island, when we received concerning news about my father-in-law’s health. Not only did Indagare help us figure out how to get home quickly, but also they re-booked our entire trip (at the height of the tourist season) for several weeks later–once we were assured that my father-in-law was in the clear! It was quite a feat. I don’t know how Indagare managed it, but I will remain forever grateful.
Where do you like to travel with your children and where do you want to take them next?
I love to travel with my children, and because they won’t have the same expat experience I did, it is important to me that they experience the world through travel as much as possible. I am considering a trip to Portugal and Spain this summer.
What would your kids say is the best trip they’ve been on and why?
They love Italy. Who doesn’t? But they also talk constantly about wanting to return to Corsica, Sydney, Fiji, London and Paris. They are easy–and very enthusiastic–travelers.
In all your travels, what would you consider your most transformative travel moment?
I will never forget visiting Hanoi, Vietnam. The food, art and incredible local people made an indelible impression.
Carry-on essentials: Bose noise-cancelling headphones and fuzzy socks
Name a favorite city and describe a perfect day there: Sydney, Australia. I would start with breakfast at the Park Hyatt Sydney and then head to Balmoral Beach where the kids can play in the sand and eat at the Boathouse for lunch. Afterwards, I would take the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk, followed by a dinner at Billy Kwong and a show at the Opera House.
Favorite hotel to escape it all: Laucala Island, Fiji
Favorite travel splurge: Driver/Guide
Favorite foreign dish: A croissant from Paris
Name three of your favorite museums: The Guggenheim in Venice, the Broad in LA, Nasher sculpture Center in Dallas
Pick one: city, beach, desert or mountains and name your specific favorite: Mountains: Sun Valley
What thrills you more: works of nature or works of man? Works of man. I love great architecture and design
What is the most romantic hotel you have visited? Post Ranch Inn
Favorite long weekend getaway: Ojai
Favorite travel ritual: Going for a walk immediately upon arrival so I can stretch my legs and get my bearings.