In 2020, Traci Halky was a veteran attorney in Florida, specializing in labor and employment law. Then the pandemic hit.
“I didn’t get to see my parents. That was hard,” Halky said.
So she moved home to Connecticut and decided to change her career. Halky just became a shopkeeper in West Hartford, opening the bakery Nothing Bundt Cakes next to Trader Joe’s on July 24.
She researched franchising opportunities before choosing Nothing Bundt Cakes.
“When I was living in Florida, I found Nothing Bundt Cakes in Palm Beach Gardens. I went in to get a quick gift and I met the owner. She was the most amazing woman. You could feel the happiness and warmth in that store,” she said. “I bought Bundtinis. I tasted them. Oh my god, they were amazing. Me and my kids got hooked.”
Nothing Bundt Cakes was founded in 1997 in Las Vegas. It now has more than 430 locations in the United States and Canada. The West Hartford store is the second in Connecticut, after Stamford.
After working 80-hour weeks as an attorney, Halky is enjoying a career that is all about celebration. She also enjoys giving back to the community.
“I donated cake to Journey Home in Hartford. I donated to the Noah Webster Houses,” she said. “When I was a lawyer I didn’t feel like part of a community. There’s both purpose and pleasure in this. It’s fulfilling.”
As the shop name implies, she sells only bundt cakes, which come in three sizes: large ($39), which feeds about 18; small ($29), which feeds about eight; Bundtlets ($5.50), which feed one or two; and Bundtinis, which are one- or two-bite samplings of any variety of flavors, and are sold by the dozen for $26. There is also a tiered cake, for $80, that is a small on top of a large and feeds about 26 people.
Standing flavors include red velvet with chocolate chips, chocolate chocolate chip, white chocolate raspberry, lemon, strawberries and cream, confetti, carrot, snickerdoodle and vanilla. Floating specialty flavors change periodically. The specialty flavor is lemon-raspberry until Sept. 4, when pumpkin spice season is upon is. Halky also offers a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie cake.
Cakes come with the chain’s signature white butter-cream cheese frosting falling in stripes down the sides of the cake.
Food & Drink
“If you’re a first-time customer I recommend the assorted Bundtinis so you can try a lot of flavors,” she said. Her own favorite is the lemon cake, but she said carrot and confetti have been flying off the shelves.
Decorations to celebrate any variety of occasions can be added to the small and large cakes for $10. Gender-reveal cakes have a pink or blue rattle hidden in the cake’s center hole. The store sells a variety of gift items, which rival the cakes for cuteness.
The West Hartford store is a family undertaking. Halky’s father helped install the decor. Her 16-year-old son helps in the kitchen and her 14-year-old twin daughters help out. Her cousin, Sarah Smith of Bridgeport, is the manager.
Halky is looking forward to doing more community outreach with her cakes. Her grand opening is still unscheduled, as construction continues on her and neighboring buildings. (The shopping plaza is covered with exposed insulation sheeting.) Twenty percent of her proceeds from the grand opening will benefit the Wethersfield-based Jordan Porco Foundation, which focuses on mental health awareness and suicide prevention. It’s an issue dear to Halky, who lost a loved one to suicide.
“We’re here to lift you up and bring you joy,” she said. “We want to celebrate life.”
Nothing Bundt Cakes, 1481 New Britain Ave. in West Hartford, is open weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. nothingbundtcakes.com.
Susan Dunne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.