SPLAT! cakes looks to make splash with coffee

MOUNT HOLLY – There’s something to be said for opening a coffee shop in an area that’s never had a successful coffee shop.

SPLAT! cakes n’ such owner Monica Nunn promotes her newest line of gourmet cupcakes, which will be available at SPLAT! coffee n’ such in Mt. Holly. (Courtesy of Monica Nunn)

For Monica Nunn, it’s an opportunity, not a challenge.

Nunn, the owner of Lowell-based SPLAT! cakes n’ such, said she decided in mid-August to open a coffee-centric store in Mt. Holly, SPLAT! coffee n’ such. The store doesn’t have a set date to open, but Nunn’s hoping for “sometime in November.”

“We needed to expand. We were running out of room in our store in Lowell,” she said. “We’ve got a great thing going. Our cakes, cupcakes and cake pops are made from scratch daily. We just needed more room to grow.”

SPLAT! cakes n’ such opened Sept. 3, 2011, and quickly gained a positive reputation.

“(The customer feedback) has been crazy,” Nunn said.

She said customers have driven from Ballantyne in South Charlotte and Greensboro to try her cakes and cupcakes. SPLAT! has more than 115 flavors, including Salted Caramel, Cherry Lemon Sun Drop and “Boys’ Night Out,” a flavor mixing beer and pretzels.

Customers to the yet-to-open Mount Holly location can expect the same gourmet cupcakes as well as fresh, local brew from Boquete Mountain Coffee.

Nunn is not concerned that previous coffee shops couldn’t sustain customers.

“There have been several there before us, but I’m all about being different,” she said. “We’ve also got a large fan base already with our Lowell shop, so people recognize us.”

SPLAT! cakes’ Facebook page has more than 3,750 “likes,” and the relationships Nunn said her business – 11 employees – is building with customers will help the new coffee shop succeed.

“The fact they’re excited doesn’t surprise me. It’s a great pair: something sweet and a cup of coffee,” Nunn said.

Regular cupcakes at both sites cost $2, while specialty cupcakes, which include fresh fruit or a filling, cost $2.50. Orders for customized cakes will only be available at the Lowell site.

SPLAT! coffee n’ such will have another wrinkle: Nunn will offer different forms of brewing for coffee, like pour-over and French press, which change the flavors of each coffee. She said she expects to promote one new form of brewing every week to bring in new customers and keep others interested.

Nunn’s business isn’t a member of the Gaston Regional Chamber yet, but her work has gotten rave reviews from at least one of its employees.

Chamber Member Services Representative Sonja Forrester calls SPLAT! cakes it her “go-to for goodness.

“Any small business opening is good for the city of Mt. Holly,” she said.

“I think it’s going to be a huge success,” Forrester said.

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