The world is looking sweet for
Midnite Confection’s Cupcakery
, which launched a food truck last month. The venture isn't just icing on the cake for the Federal Hill bakery. The owners hope the the food truck will spread the word about its confections and help them find a good home for a planned second store.
“We want to explore other areas beyond where we are,” says Sandra McNeil, co-owner with her son, Aaron McNeil, of the bakery, at 1051 South Charles St. “We’re looking for possible expansion in storefront operations.”
At a cost of under $100,000, the food truck venture is so new that McNeil hasn't established a set routine. During the weekday, the truck spends two days in Washington, D.C., and two days in Baltimore City.
The truck is usually in Baltimore on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. but, depending on parking availability, not always in the same place each of those days. Sometimes it can be found on Monument Street by the University of Maryland downtown campus, at Harbor East or at the Johns Hopkins University campus -- all neighborhoods under consideration for a second store.
“We’re trying out what places work best and adjust to customer demand,” says McNeil, referring to the food offering. “We’re newbies.”
For now, the truck only sells cupcakes for now, but may also offer cookies and bars later this summer. While the bakery has more than 40 flavors of cupcakes, the truck carries six flavors, chosen for their likely popularity, including vanilla bean, black velvet and lemon/lime. The cost is $3 per cupcake, $16 per half-dozen and $30 per dozen.
Even though no cooking is done in the food truck, the venture required getting a license from every jurisdiction and from the health department within the jurisdiction to operate. McNeil declined to discuss cost of equipping the food truck or sales so far.
“We’ve had some sell-out days and some days where it brings back items,” she says, pointing to factors like the weather and location.
McNeil opened Midnite Confection’s Cupcakery in 2010 at the Federal Hill store. Besides retail sales, the bakery caters weddings and corporate events. She says sales have grown 35 percent since opening.
Source: Sandra McNeil, Midnite Confection’s Cupcakery
Writer: Barbara Pash