So very appropriately named. Joy is a little chain gourmet cupcake store in Melbourne that I’ve just discovered.
Joy is one of those cutesy boutique stores (2 in Melbourne CBD, one in Chadstone shopping centre and one in Doncaster) with every cupcake flavour under the sun. Each one looks more delicious than the last. Salted caramel… red velvet… dark chocolate… rhubarb… lemon meringue… jam donut… cinnamon sugar… you name it – they’ve probably got it.
I first went to Joy to get a co-worker a little birthday treat. As I began gazing at all the delicious bundles of Joy in front of me (knowing full well that Allergians don’t really get to indulge in such treats), I saw a big sign with familiar lettering – NF, DF, GF, V. I don’t know why I even thought to ask, but for some reason I did:
Allergian: “when you say ‘nut free’, what exactly do you mean?”.
Expecting the normal answer of ‘well, there’s no nuts in the cupcakes, but there may be traces and…’ I then noticed that the all-familiar normality of cakes/desserts littered with nuts was non-existent. There were in fact only one or two cupcake flavours with nuts, and these were banished away to the corner (just the way the “NF, GF, DF, often taste free cupcakes normally are!).
Nice lady behind the counter: “The NF cupcakes are entirely nut free and are made in an entirely different factory.”*
Ok ok I know what you’re thinking. That’s too good to be true and doesn’t ever happen, right? Yeh – I didn’t believe it either. Anyways, for whatever reason I didn’t treat myself that day (and my jeans probably thanked me).
But a few weeks later, I was doing some shopping in Chaddy and walked past this joyful cupcake stall again. I thought I’d treat myself (shopping is cardio right?). I asked the lady behind the counter again, in case this store was different to the Melbourne CBD store.
Well – you betycha – I received the same response. Entirely NF. No traces, no risk of traces. I think it’s interesting that Joy doesn’t market themselves as the highly allergy-friendly place that they are. Whilst I cannot judge their cupcakes against those of other similar stores, based on the number of people in their stores, they either clearly make great cupcakes or there are a lot of people with allergies.
So I took the plunge. Even though I eat at restaurants that serve nuts and eat packaged foods which say “may contain traces of nuts”, this seemed too good to be true. It was way too foreign to be ordering a cake/dessert at one of these boutique dessert stores.
I thoroughly enjoyed my cupcake (ok fine I had two, but who’s judging?). I ordered a salted caramel and a dark chocolate and they were so gooood!
As I bit into these delicious cupcakes, and brought joy to the little girl in me (who had missed out on all the deliciousness that most little kiddies get to enjoy), I realised just how easy it was for this little cupcake store to bring joy to us Allergians. THANK YOU JOY – I thought you deserved a special mention!!
* Disclaimer: I’m not sure whether this is the same for the other types of Allergens. Please make your own enquiries before consuming!