There are plenty of environmental and health reasons to eliminate meat, dairy, soy, and other allergens from your diet—but it can be difficult to keep them out when it comes time for dessert. Luckily, local entrepreneur Joshua Nettleton is stepping in to fix that problem with his Incredibly Edible Cupcakes.
Nettleton bakes cupcakes that are gluten free, dairy free, egg free, grain free, soy free, and vegan. These ingredients are just a few of the foods that Nettleton cut out in order to manage his Graves disease (an autoimmune condition that causes hyperthyroidism) while avoiding the harsh, conventional treatments. He first created the cupcakes to fit into his revised meal plan.
“I decided I needed to have a treat because I’m doing all this hard work on my diet,” explained Nettleton.
To start, Nettleton found one of his mother’s old recipes and began tweaking it to find the best balance of ingredients.
“I just started messing around until I came up with something that tasted good. When it tasted good, I gave it to people when they were coming over the house for parties and things,” recalled Nettleton.
When Nettleton shared the cupcakes, he waited to tell the testers that his creations were missing some expected ingredients until after they had already tried it. After he disclosed his secret, they were in disbelief at how he was able to make the cakes taste so good with what seemed like so little. The positive reactions inspired Nettleton to make his shockingly delicious baking public.
“I decided in May of this year that I was going to bring them to the market and just hope for the best. I had no idea if anyone was going to like it. I had no idea if there was a market for this stuff, but it took off like crazy,” said Nettleton.
Nettleton has spent the past four months growing the wholesale aspect of Incredibly Edible Cupcakes by taking samples to retailers throughout Central New York. As of this week, his products are sold at seven locations including FOJO Beans, Parry’s, Peter’s Cornucopia, Utica Coffee, Brenda’s Natural Foods, and Natur-Tyme. The accomplishment is even more astounding when considering that Nettleton does all of the baking and distribution himself. But he isn’t stopping there.
“My hope is within the next six months to a year I’ll be in a place where I have enough wholesale business coming in so that I can make the jump to a facility that will allow me to double what I’m doing right now,” said Nettleton, who currently operates the business from his home kitchen.
Despite his small space, Nettleton has already started expanding the range of Incredibly Edible foods to cookies—which come in peanut butter and chocolate chip flavors. He also makes three flavors of icing—vanilla, raspberry and chocolate—on vanilla cupcakes and five flavors of icing—vanilla, raspberry, chocolate, mint, and peanut butter—on chocolate cupcakes.
With these tempting flavors and an ingredient list that’s friendly to such a range of dietary restrictions, Incredibly Edible Cupcakes are sure to be loved by anyone who appreciates a delicious dessert!