BATAVIA — Travis Farewell and Lyndsey Oliver-Farewell don’t mind the trial and error of their ways.
The couple gets to eat the mistakes. Getting a black forest cupcake just right, with a combination of cherries, chocolate and an artfully piped swirl of whipped cream on top, is worth the trouble, both agreed.
“And it’s delicious,” Oliver-Farewell said with a smile. “I think what makes our cupcakes so popular is they all have a twist: a filling or topping or something unique.”
The Medina residents just opened their Sweet Pea’s Cupcakery Cafe at 23 Jackson St. Formerly a cell phone business, the site now houses sleek black tables and chairs and a display case filled with assorted cupcakes, cookies, muffins and daily specials, such as Monday’s cherry-filled cake bars with streusel topping. Or the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake, filled with cookie dough, iced in cookie dough frosting and topped with a small cookie.
Patrons can judge for themselves during a grand opening from 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 29. There will be a display of samples for the tasting. Possibilities are many, such as the red velvet strawberry cheesecake, coconut snowball, peanut butter and jelly, Oreo, lemon, peach or apple cobbler, mint chocolate chip or a marshmallow-stuffed vanilla cupcake topped with peanut buttercream in the fluffernutter.
The trials have come through development of their original recipes and, for Farewell, getting the piped icing just right. He gave a nod to his wife, who has got it down to a one-word secret method.
“Patience,” she said. “A lot of trial to get it to look the way we want it to look. We enjoy frosting, and we make sure it looks pretty and has a lot of flavor and compliments the cupcake.”
They looked at a lot of locations before settling onto Jackson Street, Farewell said. They scouted Fairport, Brockport and other locales. They were used to coming to Batavia to do some shopping and see an occasional movie. It seemed like the right choice, he said. It’s big enough to sustain business but still has a “small town feel.”
He has enjoyed senior citizens coming in and talking about “old Batavia” and the industry and buildings of a former time. The site did not have any set-up for baking before the couple moved in. But both were so drawn to the location that it didn’t matter.
“I love working here,” he said. “A friend built this counter and we had to install all of the plumbing and kitchen. We liked the location so much we decided to just change everything.”
He was surprised to see that half the display case was empty by late afternoon. Who would have thought they’d be so busy on a Monday, he said. His cell phone — which doubles as an eggtimer — clucked for him to go in the back and check on cupcakes baking in the oven.
An overhead exhaust fan garnered some extra customers recently with the smell of pumpkin spice and cinnamon. Pumpkin cupcakes were a featured item of the day, complete with cream cheese frosting and a candy pumpkin for decoration.
This isn’t just a random dream-turned-reality, Farewell said, as the couple has done its research and traveled the country scoping out similar bakeries.
“People are usually lined up at the door. As my wife says, who doesn’t smile when they have a cupcake?” he said. “Everything is baked from scratch. We want everybody to be able to get something here. We want to make our prices reasonable.”
Daily specials will often include a couple of muffins, such as blueberry and chocolate chip, cherry bars and other treats. There will also be child-friendly prices such as three cookies or chocolate-dipped pretzel rods for a dollar.
Oliver-Farewell, an employee at Genesee Community Colllege, has been enticing her colleagues with samples. Meg Chilano was sold. Although a “die-hard chocolate fan,” she prefers the keylime pie cupcake. It is made with a graham cracker crust and meringue on top.
“All the flavors blend together,” she said. “It’s my absolute favorite. I’m hooked.”
Offers will be posted on the company’s Facebook site and advance orders are welcome. Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, call (585) 344-5627 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.