Can a person ever be too old to fulfill their sweetest (and booziest) dreams?
According to Ray Boutwell, the 93-year-old veteran at the helm of Ray's Boozy Cupcakes in Voorhees, New Jersey, the answer is no. And at 92, the retired baker and Naval veteran set his sights on the kind of confection that would make adults happy — and not just during happy hour.
The cupcake shop, which opened Sept. 14, sells nine cocktail-themed flavors made with actual alcohol. Customers can choose from Strawberry Banana Daiquiri, Tequila Sunrise, chooclaty Fireball, Kahlua Cappuccino, Apple Brandy, Blueberry Vodka, Pina Colada, Peach Schnapps and Sex on the Beach. For the non-drinkers and youngsters, Boutwell also sells an assortment of non-boozy cupcakes for $2.50 each. Boutwell doesn't drink, but he also doesn't mind a Tequila Sunrise cupcake.
When asked by TODAY, "Why open a boozy cupcake shop?" Ray replied, "Why not?"
After reading an article about a boozy cupcake shop in New York City, Boutwell, antsy in retirement and mourning the loss of his wife, was inspired to start his own.
"Well, I thought it was a great idea," Boutwell told TODAY.
His daughter, on the other hand, was skeptical at first.
"I thought that he had maybe lost his mind, I wasn't really sure. But he was very serious and very determined to go ahead with this and had all these ideas just coming out," Rosana Mawson said to TODAY.
Boutwell discovered his love of cooking at a young age, watching his mother put meals on the table everyday for him and his nine brothers. And during his time in the Navy, Boutwell served as a mess cook.
"It was a great learning experience. You know you were supporting the people that were training to go into combat," Boutwell said.
Boutwell went to cooking school, began working in bakeries at 22 years old and continued until he was 75. But he could only take so much down time in retirement and, especially after the traumatic loss of his wife, began looking for activities to keep him busy. An art lover, Boutwell began painting portraits everyday for up to eight hours.
"But I still wasn't getting enough physical and mental challenge," Boutwell said.
And that's when boozy cupcakes came into play. Within a year, Boutwell was back in the kitchen, baking up dozens of cupcakes for hungry customers.
"The legacy my father's leaving behind is one of hard work," Mawson said. "You're never too old to live your dream. You can do anything at any age."