NoRA’s is the kind of place that just can’t go wrong — as I’m sure many of you are already aware! I chatted with the owner, Carrie Carella , about what is now one of Wesleyan’s favorite Middletown eateries.
Carrie grew up in Middletown, and only left for a brief stint to go to college. Upon her return, she got her start at Eli Cannon’s. After fifteen years of general managing at Eli’s, she was ready to venture out and begin a new business. Ideas of opening a cupcake shop began years before, when she would bake cupcakes at home just for her friends and family and receive their praised and encouragement to open a bakery. Right across the street, and with the help of friend and owner of Eli’s Paul Ouelette, NoRA Cupcake Company was born on New Years Eve 2012. Even though the company opened only a little over a year ago, its role as a staple of the Middletown food scene is as established as restaurants years its senior.
This place seriously has you covered all day everyday (they’re open as late as 10PM)! You can watch the bakers in action behind the display window, admire their art (both on the cupcakes and on the walls), and, most importantly, get a warm welcome from the super friendly (and super cool) staff!
They have Savory cupcakes, cocktail cupcakes, and more classic items…. well, not exactly. As is known by many a Wesleyan food truck fan, their flavors are beyond what’s “traditionally” expected. How about some Jack Daniel’s in that Apple Crumble cupcake? Or some chocolate chips in a chocolate cheesecake cupcake? And of course, it isn’t a NoRA cupcake unless it’s filled!!
They don’t just keep these filled bites of yummy to the “conventionally” diet-abled, either. Every day they offer gluten-free, Weight Watchers, and vegan cupcakes. Sometimes, you’ll even find a gluten-free and vegan flavor. Whaaa. Are you running there yet?!
(As a tip, they update their Facebook to present their flavors of the day, so it would be to your advantage to go like it here.)
If you haven’t hopped on the NoRA’s cupcake train yet, just know that they’re not afraid to put raisins in their Carrot cupcakes. You will like it.
Carrie is thinking of moving forward to expanding NoRA’s offerings outside of the cupcake realm, and, as I tried one of their first outside-the-cupcake goods, the Scottish Shortbread during my holiday run-down in December, I can tell you that it’s an extremely promising prospect. Usually I’m super hesitant about a food establishment that specializes in one thing trying to branch out and “cover all the bases” or reach a larger customer base because I fear the quality will falter, but I can tell that Carrie is really thinking it through. And honestly, based on those shortbreads, I know she’s got it under control. I can’t wait!
Update: Now that we’re all back, WesKids: who’s ready for some cupcake?! Betchya missed the cupcake truck, and goodness greatness, we’re back on a Thursday!! And you know what that means…IT’S HERE. Happy first day of classes 2013!!
(Now go get that cupcake.)
PS — Don’t forget! YOU can help decide what cupcakes NoRA’s lil’ cupcake truck drives up to us on the weekends! There are weekly polls, don’t miss ‘em! They help out NoRA’s and they help you too!
(Just some more visual persuasion, if you really still need it at this point:)