Nickel City Gritty: Fairy Cakes Cupcakery & Bakeshop
I have a giant sweet tooth.
Give me any kind of dessert and I’m a happy clam. But give me a cupcake and I’ll be THE happiest clam in the ocean.
Cupcakes and cakes of any kind have always been my weakness. Lucky for me, one of my absolute favorite bakeries in the entire world is less than two miles up the street from my house. Kelly Audette and Mo Torpey are co-owners of Fairy Cakes Cupcakery & Bakeshop, and they make absolute magic with their desserts. These are not your ordinary basic bitch chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. They always have such interesting and fun flavors, like Peanut Butter & Jelly, Fluffernutter, Brownie Batter, and my personal favorite Pancakes & Bacon.
I sat down with Kelly and Mo to discuss their business, travel, friendship, and favorite foods. Check out their playlists below while you read all about this dynamic duo!
This is Nickel City Gritty, and this is Kelly and Mo of Fairy Cakes Cupcakery & Bakeshop.
Tell me how Fairy Cakes got started.
Kelly: At the time I was a stay at home mom and I was talking to my husband and saying how I really wanted to do something for myself and I loved baking. Cupcakes were super trendy in NYC and LA and I decided that I wanted to make cupcakes! I started doing craft shows and stuff like that and it was very successful right away which made me really happy. We did weddings and showers and I was like, “You have to help me, Mo!” Because I had never set up a wedding before and there was a ton of pressure because it was somebody’s big day. Mo was teaching college at the time and then she said she would love to join me. So we did it and we thought that we could make a go at it because it was doing really well. We just kept getting more weddings and stuff like that and that was our first big goal! We started the business in 2007 and opening a shop was the dream which we finally got in 2011 and now we’re here!
Mo: Now we’re trying to expand our product line and the space and all of that kind of fun stuff. Luckily we had really encouraging family. Kelly comes from a family of people who like to start their own businesses.
K: That was definitely helpful because we love baking but the business end…we didn’t realize just how much that would take of our time. Not having a business background was pretty tough.
M: And it’s not always the easiest to find the information.
K: The first year was crazy but we had so much help from friends and family painting and baking.
M: The first three months Kelly’s very pregnant twin sister just sat at the register and cashed people out. My dad was like, “I’'ll stamp boxes and clean dishes…I don’t now how else to help you!” *laughs*
If you could describe your personal style, how would you do it?
K: Hmmm…this season’s Target *laughs* I don’t know, probably casual and comfortable. I’m a jeans and a hoodie kind of girl in general. My daughter does hair and makeup so she sometime helps me! But in general I’m pretty chill.
M: I think my clothing is pretty basic but I like fun accessories and shoes and jewelry. I wear my grandmother’s antique jewelry all the time. But shoes are my favorite.
K: I like flip flops! Once there’s no snow on the ground I will start wearing them.
What is your guilty pleasure?
K: Reality tv shows! I like all of the baking ones and stuff but I do like the housewives. I don’t watch them regularly but if they are on and I’m home I will watch them. Survivor is good, too.
M: I’d say Young Adult Fiction. I love those books and you can blow through one of them in a day. I was an English major and we read all of the hard novels. I’d start reading one of those on a day off and if I can’t get back to it for a week I’d have no idea what was happening. But those books that I can read one or two of in a day when I have a full day off, that’s what I like. The books that I wish existed when I was a teenager. When I was young there wasn’t any of this fun stuff to read!
What is a random award or recognition that you feel like you deserve?
M: I feel like it’d be the ability to be together 24/7 without killing each other! Her husband makes fun of us because we’ll work together all day and then I’ll call her at night and talk to her for an hour and a half and he’s like, “What do you have left to talk about?” I’m like, “Everything non businessey that we didn’t get to talk about during the day!
K: Yes, exactly! That’s a good one, that’s true.
What product or service do you love so much that you’d happily be their spokesperson?
K: SPRINKLES! I love sprinkles and glitter.
M: I’m trying to think of things that I love in Buffalo…probably restaurants!
K: Yeah, we love trying new restaurants.
M: I feel like I can talk up certain dishes from all around town.
That leads me into my next question! What bars or restaurants do you love in Buffalo?
M: I love Toutant, that’s one of my favorites. Food, drink, atmosphere…it’s always perfect.
K: Carte Blanche is awesome in the Southtowns, I love it there.
M: If that were in the Northtowns it would be a problem.
K: It’s so delicious, their popovers oh my gosh.
M: The Little Club on Hertel! We do Tuesday night wine club there. We eat lots of cheese and drink wine for two hours on a Tuesday night. It’s amazing.
K: The sticky toffee pudding at Black Sheep is so good…one of my favorite desserts. Love Tappo as well.
M: And I really like Trattoria Aroma. Both locations are great.
What is on your bucket list?
K: I love traveling, it is everything. I’m lucky that I get to go to Belize this upcoming week so I’m very excited about that. So traveling everywhere and anywhere is high on my list…I’d like to see everything.
M: I have two really good friends living in London right now and I haven’t been out there to visit them yet, so I’d love to go and see them.
What is your spirit animal?
K: Sometime I say Jason Momoa, but… *laughs*
M: I’d go with a flamingo…they are just incredible awkward! But you know, cute, too.
What is on your playlist?
K: We listen to everything from the Avett Brothers to Justin Timberlake to old school 90’s. We also have musicals and Disney here.
M: It depends a little on who’s picking the morning playlist if we’re gonna be singing along to Broadway or dancing to inappropriate rap music!
Where do you go when you need to relax?
K: If I really want to relax I’ll get a massage, but in general I just go to my own room. My bed is comfortable and my kids know just to give me a minute *laughs*
M: If I really need it to be a good day I wash the sheets and then get into bed. Make the room really cold and pile the blankets on and drink tea and read a book in bed. Nothing can bother me!
What are five things you can’t live without?
K: Sadly my phone is definitely one of them, but I would say my kids, my husband…
M: I like how you said your phone before your kids!
K: Well it’s because of them! Keeping track of them. I would also say…my grandmother’s ring which I love, and my family…oh, also coffee in the morning! Caffeine in the morning.
M: Definitely tea, tea is mine…I like it in the morning but it’s also a relaxing thing. Music…mainly Spotify now. Plane tickets to Baltimore so I can see my adorable nieces. My network of people here in Buffalo. And maybe wine.
K: Yes, cocktails!
And as always, my last question is what do you want to be when you grow up?
M: I’d kind of like to be Helen Mirren when I grow up!
K: Good answer! She’s fabulous!
I want to be her now!
M: I know! She looks a million times better than I do! She takes no crap from anybody, I love her.
K: I’ve watched those tv shows where people get paid to travel and talk about it, so that would be my ideal thing.
M: It’s like the Anthony Bourdain show…eat, travel, laugh at a lot of things, go to local events, it’s perfect.
Thank you so much Kelly and Mo for letting me interview you! If you’d like to stop into Fairy Cakes for a delicious treat, you can find them at 289 Parkside Avenue in Buffalo, across the street from the Zoo.