Nobody wants to see a perfectly good pastry go to waste – and certainly not the folks at Sugar Coated Bakery, who painstakingly bake and decorate all of the sweets at the shop in Bridgewood Plaza, 1794 Bridge Street, Unit 13A.
Inevitably, though, when the bakery closes each day, the display cases still contain cupcakes and other sweet treats. Tossing them in the trash just didn’t sit right with owner Jennifer Gryckiewicz and her fellow bakers.
So about two years ago, she cooked up the idea of Cupcakes for Charity. Every Tuesday, from 1 to 4 p.m., the folks at Sugar Coated Bakery take pastries that (somehow) didn’t get sold, box them up and put them on a table outside the shop, where people can stop by and take their pick, as long as they leave either a monetary donation or a donation of nonperishable food items for the Dracut Food Pantry.
“People are able to come by and pick up whatever they want for a small donation,” says Rebecca Zimmermann, manager of Sugar Coated Bakery. “We bring all the food we collect to the food pantry, and any cash we collect, we ask the pantry what they’re most in need of and we buy it for them.
“It’s all still fresh,” Rebecca adds. “It’s just stuff we didn’t want to throw in the trash. Pastries make people smile. Trash doesn’t make people smile.”
Cupcakes for Charity makes the folks at Dracut Food Pantry smile as well.
“Jennifer has been a great friend to the Dracut Food Pantry,” says Kevin Willett, chairman of the pantry’s Board of Directors. “Her Cupcakes for Charity idea supporting the Dracut Food Pantry has been a huge success. Jennifer has been delivering hundreds of pounds of food each month.”
So what can one expect to find if they pull up to Sugar Coated Bakery on a Tuesday afternoon? Sure, there are cupcakes. But it’s so much more.
“There’s usually an assortment of cupcakes, pastries, cake slices or whole cakes, sometimes there’s French macaroons,” Rebecca says. “Sometimes it’s a mystery box so you don’t know what you’re getting, though we’ll write on the box if there are nuts or something like that. Then you can bring it home and enjoy a treat while knowing you donated to charity.”
Sugar Coated Bakery opened in 2010. Since then, Jennifer and Rebecca have appeared on several national TV food competitions, including Food Network’s “The Big Bake” and “Chopped Sweets,” and Netflix’s “Sugar Rush,” where they won their episode and $10,000.