WESTFIELD — After 11 years in business and four days of lines around the building, Mama Cakes has closed its doors for the last time.
Mama Cakes owner Kim McNutt said the past few days of business were emotional and chaotic as she and her family worked tirelessly to make as many cupcakes and treats as they could. She had announced in October that the bakery would close due to the lingering economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, inflation and an illness in the family.
The big closing event began on November 9. Mama Cakes opened its doors at noon, but that day customers were already waiting outside at 11:30. The next day, McNutt said customers were there at 11, and even earlier the next day. On the last day, November 12, he said that people were in line at 8:30 a.m.
It wasn’t uncommon for Mama Cakes’ cupcakes to be completely sold out on any given day, and during the last few days of business, the shop sold out within hours of opening every day. On the last day, McNutt said, the bakery sold out around 2:30 p.m., with plenty of people still in line. Although they didn’t have any of their typical gourmet cupcakes left to sell, those waiting in line were happy to buy a small cup of frosting.
“We started making frosting cups out of whatever frosting we had left,” McNutt said. “Anything we could give or sell, they were happily taking. We sold 150 cups of frosting on Saturday.”
She was joined by her family and children who once worked at the bakery in the last days of work. They traveled from as far away as North Carolina.
Although many businesses have returned to their pre-pandemic setups with no glass barriers or mask requirements, Mama Cakes has been operating without customers being able to physically enter the store. McNutt said she maintained this special precaution because his family has a grandson who is terminally ill with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and family members cannot visit unless they are COVID-19 negative.
McNutt said her post-Mama Cakes life is already taking a different direction, moving away from the food industry entirely. One night during the initial pandemic lockdowns, McNutt randomly obtained an online certification for yoga instruction. When she became certified, she decided to continue with the training and now began teaching yoga classes for people with terminal illnesses that affect the movement of the body, such as her grandson’s disease.
In a post on the Mama Cakes Facebook page, McNutt said the family is grateful for the great support they’ve received in the last few weeks of the bakery’s operations.
“All of us at Mama Cakes want to thank all of our customers as we say goodbye to this chapter of our lives. We didn’t expect the amount of love and support we received this week. We will always be grateful for each and every one of you,” McNutt said in the post. “I would like to especially thank my daughter Abigail for being my right hand all these years. Giving all of you to keep my dream alive. I couldn’t be more proud of you than I am right now. You will continue to do amazing things.”