For someone who served in the United States Navy in the 1940s and prefers soda over alcoholic beverages, Ray Boutwell has gone an unexpected route in his later years.
The 93-year-old WWII veteran recently started a new venture in Voorhees, New Jersey. The former bakery owner (in the late 1970s/1980s) has opened a new bakery, this one featuring alcohol-infused cupcakes.
Boutwell got the idea for Ray’s Boozy Cupcakes from a waiting room magazine at his cardiologist’s office. A year ago, he began the process of renovating a storefront and kitchen space. He also did plenty of research on infusing alcohol into cupcakes.
“I bought a book, ‘Bartending for Dummies,’ and studied that quite a bit," Boutwell says.
He has a long background in food, having served as a mess cook in the Navy. After the war, he took baking and cooking classes at a technical school while working at a gas station. Later, he worked in multiple bakeries before opening his first bakery, Boutwell’s Pastry Shop, which he closed in 1990 after 18 years.
Boutwell kept busy in his retirement years, working holidays at other bakeries. He eventually felt like he needed something more, however. Ray’s Boozy Cupcakes has energized him, and he’s excited about the prospect of providing his unique sweets to the community.
“Our cupcakes are not intoxicating, but you can taste the alcohol in them,” he says.
Boutwell says that if this venture proves successful, he plans to open an ice cream shop next.
“My dream is, if this takes off, I’m going to rent the space next door, and do boozy ice cream. I want to do it at the level of Ben and Jerry," he says.