Nothing Bundt Cakes is now open in the Corbin’s Corner shopping center at 1481 New Britain Avenue in West Hartford.
By Ronni Newton
The sign inside the Nothing Bundt Cakes in West Hartford’s Corbin’s Corner shopping center reads “Make Wishes Come True,” and that’s what Traci Halky plans to do with the new business she opened July 24. Owning the store is her dream job, and she’s looking forward to making special moments even happier for her customers.
A former attorney, Halky is excited about not just the delicious Bundt cakes – available in various sizes and multiple flavors – but also about everything else featured in the store, and what it represents.
“After about 20 years of a combative career, this is an opportunity to do the exact opposite,” she said. “It’s so sweet and kind.”
Halky grew up in Fairfield County, but left Connecticut for college and law school, and was living in Florida when COVID hit. “I decided to change it up, to stop practicing law,” she said. Her son earned a scholarship to Andover, and moving to Connecticut she would be closer to him and to her parents – who still live in her childhood home.
Nothing Bundt Cakes is a franchise business, and the company motto is “bringing joy one cake at a time.” She considered other franchises, but loved the “warm and cozy” vibe of the company, which was founded in Las Vegas in 1997 by Dena Tripp and Debbie Shwetz. There are now more than 430 location in more than 40 states as well as Canada, but other than West Hartford the only other Connecticut location is in Stamford.
Commanding center stage in the cheerful shop’s display case, the handcrafted Bundt cakes are available in four different sizes: Bundtlets, which are intended for individual consumption and despite the name are generously sized; 8-inch Bundts which serves eight; 10-inch Bundt swhich serves 18; and Bundtinis, which are sold by the dozen.
There are multiple flavors – including chocolate chocolate chip, red velvet, lemon, white chocolate raspberry, carrot, snickerdoodle, vanilla, strawberries and cream, confetti, and special featured flavors like key lime. The Bundts are topped with cream cheese frosting, and all can be decorated to celebrate nearly any imaginable occasion. The 8- and 10-inch Bundts can even be stacked to create a tower.
The Bundts are delicious fresh, but Halky said they’re also good for three days on the counter, and can keep their quality for five days in the refrigerator.
Halky said she was so happy to celebrate with those who came to the grand opening, and to “hear stories of their first bite bliss.”
On day two, she said, “We helped out a mom in a pinch who needed a cake for her daughter’s 21st birthday at the last minute. We can complete most orders in with about 20 minutes notice.”
The cakes are baked daily in-house. Halky’s bakers are a married couple from Southington, who loved the idea of working and commuting together. When they began training she expected a steep learning curve and plenty of unusable cakes, but “they’re perfect,” she said. “And sweet and kind.”
“We have found the most tremendous people,” Halky said of the entire team. “The best bunch of new family members.”
She started hiring staff a few months ago at the job fair hosted by the town and West Hartford Chamber of Commerce, and training began last week. Many are young – including a number of Conard and Hall students, and one 16-year-old employee, enthusiastically takes three buses from Hartford to get to work.
Nothing Bundt Cakes sells much more than Bundt cakes, and every nook of the shop holds another surprise. Some of the merchandise offered is dictated by the franchise, but Halky said she has plenty of flexibility, too – and has focused on sustainable products as well as items from local and minority- and women-owned businesses, and items that come in eco-friendly packaging.
There are greeting cards and paper plates (all eco-friendly), as well as reusable bamboo plates that feel like melamine.
Hand towels have sayings like “Coffee: My hot friend I was telling you about” and the manufacturer donates a percentage of its profits to charity. The natural soy candles conjure up peaceful or cozy vibes with scent names like “Grandma’s Kitchen,” “Thank You, Mom,” and “Gone Hiking.”
There are colorful stemless “Happy Birthday” wine glasses, Swig tumblers and mugs, tote bags, and reusable sponge cloths that are not only cute but also do the work of 17 paper towels, can be machine washed, and after they wear out are compostable.
A series of inspirational books called “Eat Your Peas” make thoughtful little gifts – as do Geo-surprises, balls filled with magic crystals.
Halky is also excited to be working with her cousin, Sarah Smith, who is the shop’s manager.
While they are related, there’s about a 10-year age difference and they didn’t really get to know each other until recently, Halky said. Smith is from Oregon, and Halky’s mom learned last year that she was looking for a job. The two attended the Nothing Bundt Cakes conference in Las Vegas, and immediately clicked. “We are the same person,” Halky said.
Nothing Bundt Cakes is currently open weekdays from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. A delivery option will be added, likely in September, Halky said.
For more information, call 860-590-6336 or email [email protected].
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