Back in 2015, a curious Nicole Meigel began scouring the web for cake-decorating tutorials to follow in her own kitchen.
“Fondant was really cool to me – I just wanted to learn how to use it,” Meigel, of East Islip, recalled. “I just started researching techniques and baking for friends and family, just for fun.”
Before she knew it, she was hit with a barrage of cake orders by phone and through social media. As it turned out, her friends and family had referred their friends to Meigel.
“So, I made a business out of it,” Meigel, an East Islip High School alumna, said. “I’ve never had to advertise; all my orders were just through referrals and repeat customers.”
Now, the stay-at-home mother operates Sweet Treats by Nik from home by crafting homemade baked goods in her kitchen and delivering them to locations across Long Island. From intricate, six-tier wedding cakes to Pokemon-themed cookies to boozy cupcakes for adults, this baker has done it all.
Most of her baking and decorating is completed late at night, after her husband returns home from work and her two children, 3-year-old Blake and 8-month-old Sage, are settled in.
While her business peaks in spring and summer (around wedding season), she’s whipping up treats throughout the year. Around each holiday, Meigel offers seasonal presale orders so she can prep multiple orders at once. It keeps her baking late into the wee hours of the morning.
“On Valentine’s Day, I was up until 3 a.m.,” she laughed. During a presale for her trendy hot chocolate bombs, she prepared and sold nearly 1,000.
While Meigel has created many children’s birthday cakes, she makes tasty treats for adults, too: For St. Patrick’s Day this year, Meigel offered a presale on Irish car bomb cupcakes. These chocolate, Guinness-infused cupcakes are topped with Bailey’s buttercream frosting, and each one has a tiny tube of Jameson Irish Whiskey attached. (Tip for adults: Meigel recommends drinking the shot and then taking a bite since it makes the cake extra moist.)
So, where does she store her orders before she delivers them?
“Everywhere,” Meigel joked. She’s constantly removing refrigerator drawers and reorganizing shelves in her kitchen to keep her sweet treats cold.
Opening a formal bakery isn’t off the table, Meigel said. While the concept of additional storage space is appealing, she loves the convenience of working from home and being close to her kids.
When the COVID-19 outbreak first struck Suffolk County in March 2020, Meigel donated cookies and other treats to local health care workers at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip and South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore.
Even amid the pandemic, Meigel said she gets more customers with every holiday presale she offers.
“Each day just gets better and better,” Meigel said. “I’m blown away by the support of the community every year.”
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