"Some people don't like to cook because they think it’s stressful, but it’s very relaxing for me. Oftentimes I’d come home from my full-time job and bake or cook. My son, Aaron, picked up on that and around the time he was in college, I’d smell sweets baking in the kitchen around midnight. That’s why we named our business ‘Midnite Confections’."
Midnite Confections Cupcakery
Owner: Sandra McNeil and Aaron McNeil
Sandra: “My mother was a stay-at-home mom, so every day we had a sit-down dinner. Most of the time, it included some kind of dessert. My Mom introduced me to baking at a young age. When I started having children, it was almost second nature to continue baking since I enjoyed it so much.
Some people don't like to cook because they think it’s stressful, but it’s very relaxing for me. Oftentimes I’d come home from my full-time job and bake or cook. My son, Aaron, picked up on that, and around the time he was in college, I’d smell sweets baking in the kitchen around midnight. That’s why we named our business ‘Midnite Confections.’
In my twenties, I received my master's and did my thesis on opening a bakery, so that was always something I wanted to pursue. Once Aaron became interested in baking with me, that sealed the deal.” So, after a 25-year career in telecommunications, we decided to embark on this adventure.
Aaron: “Back in 2009, my mother and I talked about baking and selling cupcakes as a business. We wanted to focus on mastering one product. We knew that we needed to start somewhere so we decided to test out a bunch of cupcake recipes and have our family and friends “test market” them. That went really well, so we started thinking about opening a shop.
At that time, we were living in the DC suburbs so our initial thought was to open a shop in DC. We quickly realized that the market was saturated and we wanted to have a location where we could really grow our business so we explored some options.
I had a friend who lived in Federal Hill and he told us to check it out. This was 11 years ago when there were a lot of vacant storefronts in the area so we had some reservations. On the other hand, we had experienced the revitalization of certain areas in DC and we sensed the same could happen here. Fortunately, we were right and things have been growing at a rapid pace.” I suppose many other people had the same idea because within 6 months of opening, there were about 6 other cupcakeries in a 2-mile radius. All of which are now closed.
Sandra: “In the beginning, we were both here together every day. As time wore on, I began doing the administrative work and Aaron was typically at the shop. Luckily for us, our perspectives on most business strategies align well. We share a very similar style.”
Aaron: “My Mom’s business background helped with day-to-day operations and financials but the bottom line is we were able to depend on and trust each other to build a successful business.”
Sandra: “My husband is also very involved in the business. He’s great with the customers and working with our food truck. At various times, we’ve had good friends and various other relatives help us out as well. It’s been a blessing. We have each other's backs at all times. We also now have a great store manager, Dana, that keeps things running smoothly.”
About Midnite Confections Cupcakery
At Midnite Confections, you will enjoy freshly baked and frosted cupcakes and cookies. On a daily basis, we feature 12 cupcake flavors and 7 cookie flavors. Also available through orders are pull apart cakes, small cakes, mini cupcakes and custom decorations including fondant logo’s and special celebration cakes.