Megan Adams-West and her family have spent the past eight weeks turning a onetime barbecue joint into the bake shop she’s dreamed of operating since she finished culinary school nearly a decade ago.
NutMegz, at 1103 Scalp Ave. in Richland Township, opened March 29.
But the journey that has brought her to the cupcake shop is the result of years of ups, downs and miracles, Adams-West said.
Ongoing epileptic seizures, which plagued the Westmont woman since she was 8, had her on disability, and in a care-needy state until a successful brain surgery three years ago.
She’s been seizure free ever since, with newfound energy that has enabled Adams-West to turn her pastry passion into a full-time business.
“Being able to do this, it’s just so special,” she said Thursday, standing beside display cases she plans to fill with creative gourmet cupcakes like the Krispie Treat, Peanut Butter Bacon and the Y’inzer. “This is the place I’ve always dreamed I’d have.”
While she’ll also be offering cakes and cookies, it’s the cupcakes that will be NutMegz’s centerpiece, Adams-West said.
Once little more than a kid’s birthday party staple, the compact cakes have become a trendy treat over the past decade.
“You can do so much with them,” she said, pointing to an ever-changing menu that featured cupcakes dressed in peanut butter and jelly, white chocolate raspberry mouse and peanut butter and banana.
“The Elvis,” she said, of the peanut butter and banana creation.
Other cupcake nicknames will have a much more local flavor, she said.
The Y'inzer will be a chocolate gob-style cupcake. And the “Reecey” Peanut Butter Cup is named after her son, Reece.
It’s also one of his favorites, Adams-West said.
She’s been making cupcakes for weddings and other special events for several years – and says often they are replacing the traditional cake at formal events.
“They’re so simple because they are already portioned ... you don’t even need a plate,” Adams-West said.
The Pittsburgh Culinary Institute grad said she’s been busy since NutMegz’s sign was posted in front of her new shop.
While her husband, Stewart, has been busy renovating the place, she’s been in her home kitchen trying to keep up with surging orders.
“Typically, I was dealing with a few orders a week. I’ve been handling 15 to 20 orders a week since the sign went up and we (weren’t) even open yet,” she said Thursday. “It’s encouraging. We’re definitely excited.”
The shop is open seven days a week. For more information: www.nutmegzbakery.com.
David Hurst covers Richland Township for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ tddavidhurst.