NAUGATUCK — Existing side by side, Edible Dreams and Bomb Bay Café, 411 and 413 Main St., reflect the passions of one man, Edward Hughes, and provide the community with a place to find award-winning cakes for special occasions and special place to grab a bite to eat. A self-taught cake artist who learned while helping his mother create cakes for local reception halls, Mr. Hughes had also developed a passion for history while running a hurricane protection business in Florida.
He would listen to the stories of clients as he worked in their homes to defend them during severe storm damage and found himself fascinated by their experiences in the armed services.
As he mused about how much has happened in the past decade to make him the owner of two businesses, Mr. Hughes recalled the idea of building a food truck to bring his signature bommers to local events. “We gave it a World War II theme and then decided to give it a home here, at the coffee shop.”
The Bomb Bay Café opened in 2016 with a strong sense of community. The photographs that appear on each table design are from local families.
“I wanted to create a tribute to the generation that has become one of the best so far. They saved the world.” Mr. Hughes pointed out that the café is a welcoming space for more than veterans and active military personnel. “Their families like to come here, too. Really, each person at a table is connected to this community.”
Memorabilia from his own collection and donations from others include a flag flown at Iwo Jima near a photograph of the man who found it hidden in an ammunition case.
“These are pieces of history and there is a lot to see.” Mr. Hughes is proud to invite guest speakers who share stories at the café.
He fabricated many of the café features, including the high top table bases using discarded air bottles, adding fins and paintwork to make them appear as if were the bombs that would have been carried on the B-17 displayed as a mural on the long wall.
“I’ve always been artistic,” he told Voices, explaining how he entered a cake decorating competition less than a year after opening his original bakery in 2008. “We took a silver medal at the state level and first place for wedding cakes that year.”
The feat was remarkable for someone who had just recently switched from making cakes for friends.
“The next year, we went back to the same competition to win gold.”
Brides and their grooms can settle into a comfortable table and chairs at the bakery to sample from 20 flavors of cake and an endless list of filling possibilities.
“We make cakes and cupcakes from small personal cakes to extravagant wedding cakes, sculpted cakes, and 3D cakes. There are dogs, fish, jet skis, cars, motorcycles, and more. There hasn’t been a cake request e haven’t been able to do.”
He said, “For big events, we do free consultations and can arrange tastings. There’s nothing premade so, unless you luck out, there’s nothing to buy without an order. I mean, sometimes we’ll have a little extra batter and bake a small cake but, generally, we need two weeks for a special cake or 24 hours for an 8 or 10-inch round.”
Mr. Hughes specializes in pull away cakes, which consist of a set of cupcakes that are frosted to appear as one large cake. “It’s good for a party where you don’t want to worry about cutlery, like a picnic. Everyone just grabs a cupcake and enjoys. It’s the effect of a fancy cake with less fuss.”
Delivery service is available for cakes.
The café offers both a traditional American menu, including breakfast, sandwiches, Rise Nitro cold brew, along with bakery treats such as muffins, cupcakes, and bommers.
These treats are a cross between a cupcake and a donut, baked like a cupcake but rolled in cinnamon sugar, then filled with flavors of the season such as maple bacon, pumpkin with a caramel cream cheese filling, eggnog, gingerbread, Nutella, fluffernutter, and more.
“It’s all made in house.”
The Bomb Bay Café is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
Military discounts are available year-round.
Edible Dreams opens at 9 a.m. and closes with the café and photos to inspire those with celebration plans are available at www.edibledreamscakes.com and Facebook.
Questions and orders may be directed to 203-632-9820.