Photo by Heather Middleton
By Maria-Jose Subiria
There's something sweet in the air in Jonesboro these days.
Since opening in November, Me and My Babycakes, Monique Fuller's self-described gourmet cupcake bakery, has been churning out tiny treats with names like Chocolate Betty, Vanilla Fannie and Strawberry Shontrell.
Me and My Babycakes is located at 150 North McDonough Street in Jonesboro, and is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 12 to 5:30 p.m., and Tuesdays by appointment only.
Fuller, a Jonesboro resident and a librarian at Mundy's Mill High School, said that while she comes from a family of bakers, she took up the art while looking for a way to spend her evenings after work.
"I was accustomed to working full time and going to school, or working and going to school full time, since I was 15 years old, so to have free time on my hands was difficult," she said. "I initially saw it as a hobby and something to do for my family, but once I started taking my creations, and some early failures, to my co-workers, they asked me if I could make items and wanted to know what I would charge."
Fuller said that because she is a full-time librarian, her mother oversees the bakery in the early afternoons, until she arrives a little after 4 p.m., to begin baking her customers' orders.
"Right now it [the bakery] is a labor of love. It is not my primary job," she said.
Located in what Fuller said at times has been a home, an engineering firm's office and a bridal boutique, Me and My Babycakes offers cupcakes at $10 per dozen, or $1 each. On average, the bakery makes approximately 250 cupcakes a day, she said.
Fuller said she also makes standard layer and sheet cakes, and offers soft drinks and coffee for customers taking advantage of a small seating area. "Our business is unique because we offer the residents of the Southern Crescent area the same gourmet taste as some other cupcake bakeries in Atlanta, but at a fraction of the cost," she said. "We feel that everyone should be able to afford life's sweet treats."
In addition to the Vanilla Fannie, a vanilla cupcake topped with vanilla buttercream, Chocolate Betty, a chocolate cupcake topped with milk chocolate icing, and Strawberry Shontrell, a strawberry cupcake with strawberry cream cheese icing, Fuller also sells what she calls Sang's Lemon Sunshine, a vanilla cupcake with a hint of lemon flavor topped with lemon cream cheese icing; Lottie Lime, a key lime cupcake topped with cream cheese icing; and Ruby Red Velvet, a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese icing.
Fuller said her cupcakes were named after family members that were, or are, bakers.
The Chocolate Betty cupcake was named after Fuller's mother, Betty King.
"I come from three generations of bakers," Fuller said. "My great-grandmother, both grandmothers and mother have all baked for friends, family and neighbors. I've watched hundreds of people marvel at their cakes, pies and cookies and I decided to take some of their recipes and share it with others."
Hoping to capitalize on the spring and summer months, which will afford her more time to work at the shop and bring the wedding and shower season, Fuller said she also has a room available for private events with cupcakes on the menu.
"It's a wonderfully quaint and quiet space to host birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, tea parties and other meetings," said Fuller.
Fuller said that in addition to those just looking for a quality treat, she caters somewhat to a niche of brides and wedding planners looking to cut costs in a tight economy.
"Brides have been seeking our services as an alternative to the expensive wedding cake," she said. "Often times, the cake is a huge expense and a great deal of it goes to waste. By serving cupcakes, brides are able to better control their portions and cost, offer more flavors to their guests and create a showpiece just as wonderful as a wedding cake."
On the net:
Me and My Babycakes: www.meandmybabycakes.net