Vendor Gallery: Nadia DeMessa

Nadia DeMessa, the owner of a new gourmet cupcake company making the rounds in a cute trailer, bakes all her cupcakes from scratch using the best of ingredients.

She describes herself as “a wife and mother of three boys” who was born in Jamaica and grew up in a family in the baking business. She originally went to college for marine biology but became a successful custom cake designer. “I have been decorating cakes for the past six years and last year decided to add cupcakes to the menu. I saw how they were becoming very popular and then I noticed the cupcake trucks up north and thought what a good idea.”

DeMessa found a used trailer and “customized it to become a concession unit.” She is fully licensed and has her city of Atlanta vehicle permit. Soon, she will hit the road and set up a few stops to sell the cupcakes from a mobile she affectionately calls Pinkie. Yum Yum Cupcake does not have a store front, but you can find them at most of the local festivals and special events around metro Atlanta.

We caught up with Pinkie at the latest Urban Picnic at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market and, although we only tried two flavors (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and Red Velvet), we can see that DeMessa’s fluffy and delicate product is in a class of its own, having mastered the trick of making the cake and the icing similarly yielding and delicious.

For street vending, DeMessa has to fully package her cupcakes, but at events, she liberates the little marvels and exposes them in their full glory.

Follow Yum Yum Cupcake on Facebook and Twitter to find out where Pinkie the cupcake mobile will be and try as many of the flavors (a total of twenty-five) as humanly possible!

Whew

Reader Foodie Buddha provided an update on the Snowball truck:

It’s not closed.  The health inspector showed up on Monday and shut them down for like 15 minutes (or something like that), it wasn’t long at all.  They are open and operating without a problem!

Orleagian Snowball Truck Shuttered?

Reader Boyd Baker sent us a tip that the Orleagian Snowball truck at the corner of Ponce and Moreland may be closed. Here’s what he said:

I was at the Snowball truck at Ponce & Moreland this afternoon when a City official told them they had to close until they had a health certificate. They had a license but the poor kid running the thing knew nothing else. I thought I overheard the man say it’d be a $5k fine if they opened without a health cert. When I talked to the kid, all he could say was, “This truck has been open 3 years.”

Let us know if it’s open or not.

[Photo courtesy of their Flickr stream.]

Twin Power

Becky and Deb Tokich (profiled previously in our Vendor Gallery) love soccer and Cuban sandwiches. They went to South Africa, came back, and decided to start their business in earnest.

The Urban Picnics held once (soon twice) a month at the Sweet Auburn Curb Markets serve as incubators for the next generation of food carts. Vendors such as the Tokich sisters often start modestly with a table and portable equipment.

Pressed Cuban sandwiches and spicy roasted cashews were a big hit at the market and you can expect to hear more from the twins as soon as they figure out the wheel situation!

Vendor Gallery: Grace’s Goodness

This is the story of two ladies starting a local business from the ground up with a borrowed truck and “pennies to their name.”

Brittany “Grace” Shiver, founder, and Laura Feuillebois, creative director, are working to bring a southern “farm to truck” concept to life, with honest, super-fresh treats. “The food we offer has only been through the farmer’s hands, and the hands of Grace’s Goodness,” they write.

Brittany Grace was raised “on hoecakes and collard greens in the backwoods of North Florida and South Georgia.” After what she calls her “uncoordinated stint at the largest microbrewery and organic inspired restaurant in the Southeast,” she is working on a masters in applied linguistics and English as a Second Language. She loves food and people equally. Her favorite foods include heirloom tomatoes and olive oil.

Laura is the product of a French father and a southern mother, who fostered her love affair with butter. After living in Paris, her two passions were fully realized: great food and art. She has spent the past few years working at art museums in Colorado and Atlanta. She speaks Pig Latin, Yiddish, and French.  Her favorite foods include cheese and baguette.

Grace’s Goodness made its debut at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market with a tiny table and offerings such as watermelon tomato salad with organic heirloom tomatoes, jicama, Greenleaf Farm lime basil, citrus juice, cayenne pepper, and sea salt; Vietnamese wraps filled with rice noodles, Love is Love Farm cucumbers and tri-colored peppers, basil, cilantro, and mint with a side of hoisin sauce on a bed of mixed herbs from Greenleaf Farm; Pearson Farms peaches with a chilled cream consisting of a blend of Atlanta Fresh crème fraiche and Atlanta Fresh vanilla caramel Greek yogurt. The pimento cheese served with H & F Co. toast points (some pumpernickel and some brioche) is a recipe Grace’s mom has used for years and includes cream cheese, sharp cheddar, mayo, pimentos, fresh ground black pepper, and sea salt.

The menu will change often to reflect the seasons. Next month, for example, they are thinking of doing figs with Riverview Farm bacon as well as local corn off the cob with fresh churned butter, parsley, and sea salt.

[last three photos by Daniel Stabler]