Jonathan Bondi was working for the Board of Elections when he took two weeks off to help his wife, Tara, open their new cupcake store on Grand Island.
He never went back. That was six months ago, and after Baked Cupcakery sold out its stock 46 days in a row, the Bondis figured they had something good. “It was so crazy,” Jonathan Bondi said. “We were selling 60 dozen cupcakes a day, and it was just me and my wife Tara doing everything.”
Everyone told them they were crazy. “Every single person told us not to do it on Grand Island, and that we needed more than cupcakes,” he said.
But they had an inspiration, sister-in-law Heather McDonnell, the season three winner of Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars,” who helped Tara learn. “She’s a genius,” Bondi said of McDonnell.
The Twix is one of the most complex cupcakes they make. It starts with a shortbread crust in the bottom, which is baked before being covered with a layer of chocolate cake. A small coring is removed so it can be filled with caramel sauce.
“We top it with a swirl of chocolate and caramel buttercream frosting, our two best frostings, swirled together, and the presentation reminds me of a swirled ice cream cone,” said Bondi. Then it’s topped with a whole half of a Twix bar.
Right or left Twix? “We don’t discriminate,” he said with a laugh. At Baked Cupcakery, cupcakes come in jumbo, regular and mini size; a jumbo Twix cupcake is $3.
In March, the Bondis entered the Twix cupcake in the Kiss 98.5 Cupcake Challenge. “We competed against 17 other places, and took home best cupcake overall, the best cupcake in Western New York,” he said. “It made all those nights and 20-hour days seem so worth it.”
Yes, the Bondis have heard that cupcakes are “over.”
“Maybe regular cupcakes are over, but our cupcakes aren’t that,” he said. “I’d say that cupcakes are just starting in Buffalo.”
Info: Baked Cupcakery, 1879 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island (773-2050)