Little Beast chef Naomi Gallego, plus candy cakes from a Gaithersburg business, and more
“Let them eat candy!” may as well be the motto in Jenna Goldblatt’s realm. The Gaithersburg resident is the creator of Candy Cake Explosion, a homegrown business featuring whimsical, towering, custom-made “cakes.” They are fashioned from Styrofoam rings covered and filled with all kinds of individually wrapped pieces of candy or candy bars, such as Blow Pops, Starburst, gummy bear packets, Twix bars, Nestle’s Crunch bars, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Mike and Ikes, and Nerds. The creations are wrapped in cellophane and decorated with curling ribbon. (They’re especially great as centerpieces for special occasion parties.)
As is the case with many entrepreneurs, Goldblatt happened onto the business, which she runs out of her Lakelands home. “Our older son, Bennett, doesn’t like cake or ice cream, so for every birthday we did a cookie cake for him. Our family has always loved candy, so for his 11th birthday party [in August 2017] I created a candy cake for him. All the parents and kids loved it.”
Bennett loved it, too. “We were at a pool in Potomac and Bennett was showing a picture of the cake to everyone and he sold one to someone,” Goldblatt says. “I told him we don’t make cakes and he said, ‘Well, we do now!’ ” Goldblatt called her husband, Dan, and told him they had to make and deliver a cake by the next day—and they did. A business was born.
The cakes come in four sizes ranging from 6 to 10 inches in diameter, and from 6 to 9 inches in height. A small cake serves two to three people; an extra large one, well over 10. They range in price from $55 to $95, plus shipping. They are available on the Goldblatts’ website (candycakeexplosion.com) and online through Dylan’s Candy Bar and Etsy. Bouquets of candy are also available on the Candy Cake Explosion website.
Now the Goldblatts make about 200 cakes a month. Says Jenna: “We didn’t think it would blossom into what it is today, but we are happily surprised.
Darnestown residents Nancy Becker, 58, and her daughter, Bridget Greaney, 25, couldn’t find nutritious on-the-go snacks they liked, so they took matters into their own hands. They embarked on a year of research and development in Becker’s home, experimenting with a recipe Greaney worked on in college. The two lacked experience in the food business so they enlisted a food scientist and a professional chef to help tweak the recipe. Working out of a commercial kitchen in Baltimore, Becker and Greaney launched 2Betties rounds in 2017. “We wanted a name that didn’t scream healthy and that started a ‘What is that?’ conversation. And a Betty in some female circles means a confident chick or a best friend,” Becker says. She puts 36 years of experience in the business-to-business publishing world to use as the company’s chief customer officer; Greaney is its chief product officer.
The treats, which are grain-, gluten-, peanut-, dairy- and refined sugar-free, come in packets of two 2-inch rounds (they look like little doughnuts) that are 100 calories each. Flavors are vanilla bean, maple cinnamon, mocha chip and chocolate chunk. (Sweet almond comes out in early summer, pumpkin spice in the fall.)
2Betties’ products are available online in boxes of six packets for $13.99. In Montgomery County, they are available at Barre3 Bethesda, Potomac Grocer and, in the summer and fall, at the Patriot’s Chesapeake Farmhouse in Beallsville. 2Betties.com