Niki Novak is an expert at reading the tea leaves of people’s raunchy orders from her Sweet-N-Nasty erotic bakery — and this Valentine’s Day tells her a lot about what’s going on in the world.
“Valentine’s is our Super Bowl,” said Novak, whose website proclaims that her store pedals “XXX Adult Cakes and Sexy Chocolates” to people in the Boston area. “I think there isn’t a lot to celebrate, so, hey Valentine’s Day — let’s go for it.”
Novak’s Back Bay bakery, which for 39 years has specialized in cakes featuring an assortment of sugar-and-frosting-created naughty bits — and, of course, the associated puns — has been “particularly busy” this Valentine’s Day.
“I think people are indulging more,” the Braintree resident told the Herald. “People seem to have more of an appetite for it. I don’t know if it’s a ‘hey, we’re not going to live forever,’ or what.”
These aren’t your grandma’s hum-drum sex-themed sweets that Novak sells — they’re very detailed, highly customized and, at times, really quite graphic.
Like everything else, Sweet-N-Nasty’s business has changed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Her Back Bay shop is no longer open to walk-ins, but she continues to use it as a pickup spot. There’s another in Braintree, and she’s delivering around the area for a fee.
As the chill of social-distancing has set in, orders have seen some shrinkage, she said. For example, instead of a huge cake with a sultry theme, people might be ordering a cupcake or two — still with a twist, obviously.
Novak said “Galentine’s Day” parties — a “Parks and Recreation”-created Feb. 13 celebration for single women — have become more popular, and that’s another big day for her. Birthdays, bachelor and bachelorette parties and the like are also often a cause for people to want their baked goods to be a bit more risqué. She’s also hearing from customers that people are taking many of these celebrations online, and having one of her moist cakes delivered to someone while people are on Zoom calls.
As for why people get so excited about her ribald cakes — or any other sex joke — she, well, waxed philosophical, saying she believes that as long as sex and nudity are taboo, people are going to be entertained by her offerings.
“Sex has always been popular,” she said. “As long as people wear clothes, we’re going to be in business.”