Tonnie Rozier, Founder and CEO of Tonnie’s Minis, was recognized for his knack for creating confectionery treats at a young age, and he hasn’t stopped serving up his famous desserts since. Establishing Tonnie’s Minis, in the West Village, in 2006 as the storefront to his celebrated cakes and cupcakes, Tonnie placed himself in the thick of New York City “cool”. From celebrities, corporate executives, to neighborhood locals, Tonnie’s Minis is the top destination for cupcakes and no longer one of New York City’s best kept secrets.
Tonnie B. Rozier III began baking at the age of 7 alongside his grandmother. Although a fan of Twinkies, Tonnie realized at a young age that he could get more sweets for his dollar if he made them himself. Learning from his grandmother and mother, Tonnie always had a passion for baking. Tonnie continued his favorite pastime and soon friends caught wind of his talent. After college, Tonnie sold cookies by the bag to friends and co-workers averaging up to 100 bags a day. Later on, Tonnie was blessed with a baby boy and he began his baking business at home in Jersey City, while still working by day as the Director of the Boys and Girls Club. With a mixer in his right hand and Tonnie .
Rozier IV in his left, Tonnie created rich, moist carrot cake with a creamy-delicious cream cheese icing. A recipe originally created by his mother, Tonnie spruced it up and it became his signature dessert. To this day, Tonnie is the ONLY one who prepares the carrot cakes so that the recipe remains a secret. While keeping his day job as the Director of Boys and Girls Club in Jersey City, Tonnie was baking at night for wholesale orders from giants like Barnes & Nobel , The Coffee Beanery, Bon Appetite, and the Soul Café in Times Square.
When Tonnie transferred to New York City to work, his side-business began to take off even more. By the holiday season of 2005, Tonnie was up to $5000 in orders. Says Tonnie, “By the time I moved to New York, I found myself at a fork in the road. My orders were growing and I could not handle the demand and work at an optimal level during my 9-5 job. The money I saw I could potentially make was going to be much greater if I chose baking full time. I love baking so there was no other choice in my mind.” Tonnie resigned from his position in order to expand his demanding baking business and he did so just in time to almost double his order amount for that holiday season. With just his wholesale business, located in Carol Gardens, Brooklyn, Tonnie’s carrot cake also steadily grew in popularity amongst the media and entertainment crowds through word-of-mouth. Everyone from Fox 5 NY, WPIX 11 NY, P. Diddy, Bad Boy Records and Sean John were calling upon Tonnie for his delectable dessert.
Always as an introduction to prospective clients, Tonnie would send carrot cupcakes (minis) as a sample of his famous carrot cakes. The cupcakes were always a success and finally after the suggestion of many clients and carrot cake devotees, he began creating more sumptuous cupcake flavors. Wanting to test the waters of opening his first retail location, Tonnie opened Tonnie’s Minis Cupcake and Coffee Bar in the Spring of 2006, sharing a space the popular West Village sandwich shop, BB Sandwich, on 120 West 3rd street.
Only one of five cupcake retailers in New York City at the time, Tonnie’s Minis was an immediate hit with lines running out the door. Compared to his well-known competitors, Tonnie is on a level of his own, crafting unique recipes developed with his celebrity clientel and baked with love in bakery. Fans of Tonnie’s flock to his Greenwich Village flagship store for his signature “Carrot Dream” and “Death by Chocolate” cupcakes. The Red Velvet, by far the most popular amongst the hordes of NYU students, locals, and celebrities alike, can make mouths water just on sight. Notable clients who have experienced Tonnie’s cupcakes include Kimora Lee Simmons, Jay-Z, Gabrielle Union, and Rev. Run of Run DMC.
Starting with a small flagship location, tucked away amongst other “best kept secrets” of New York City, Tonnie’s expansion into more areas and a growing clientele has Tonnie’s Minis poised to become a household name. Tonnie’s Minis in Harlem opened October 2009 at 264 Lenox Avenue. The location is bigger and better, and Tonnie is looking forward to catering to the tastes of the Harlem neighborhood. Check out our signature Harlem Sweet Box that has be the talk of the town. Watch for additional locations across New York City opening soon. Tonnie invites you to taste his product and fall in love just like so many patrons already have!