Ashley Foxen had long been the one who made prettily decorated cupcakes for friends' parties and office functions. In 2012, she was asked to make cupcakes for a bachelor party -- a tall order since most of her designs had tended toward the girlie end of the spectrum. Looking for a theme that said "guys," she was inspired by a photo she saw on the Internet of a cupcake that looked like a burger.
After that, the ideas came fast and furious to the former fine-arts major: a cupcake that looked like a bagel with cream cheese, a cupcake that looked like a slice of pizza, a cupcake that looked like a carton of lo mein. In 2014, Foxen left her job with a media-buying company to concentrate full time on the company she had named Reality Bites.
Foxen is bullish about flavor -- all her batters are made from scratch and she eschews the semi-industrial fondant coating used for many hyper-decorated confections because "it just doesn't taste good."
When she's not in the commercial kitchen she rents in Huntington, Foxen works social media. She's a contributor at marthastewart.com and she has an instructional video series on the Web channel ulive.com (search for "baked and confused").
Foxen sells her "bagel sandwiches" at leemaeats.com ($45 to $54 for nine cupcakes, depending on what's on the bagel), but most of her sales are special orders for parties and events. But she will be selling individual bagel cupcakes for $4 at the Deer Park farmers market (at the piazza at the Tanger Outlets) on Saturday June 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and at the Farmingdale farmers market (next to Village Hall) on Sunday June 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To order cupcakes, go to realitybitescupcakes.com or call 516-353-7743.
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