October 26, 2021

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Kamala Harris makes quick detour to get some cupcakes with Murphy, Booker in Newark – NJ.com

2 min read

Officially, Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to New Jersey on Friday to speak about child care and coronavirus vaccinations.

But she ended the trip with an unscheduled stop — for cake and cupcakes.

Harris indulged her sweet tooth by visiting Tonnie’s Minis, a Newark bakery, with Gov. Phil Murphy and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker before heading back to the airport to hop on Air Force Two for a return trip to Washington, D.C.

Booker, the New Jersey Democrat who was once Newark’s mayor, had urged Harris to stop by the store on Halsey Street.

They ended up ordering a bunch. Murphy got four cupcakes. Harris got some red velvet cupcakes and slices of carrot cake, pineapple coconut cake, and sponge cake with chocolate icing.

Booker didn’t get any. He’s a vegan, of course.

MORE: VP Kamala Harris makes strong pitch for vaccinations, helping parents pay for day care in N.J. visit

The shop’s owner, Tonnie Rozier, told Harris he initially shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, then reopened in a bake-to-order format before resuming normal operations. Rozier said he was helped by a PPP loan.

“It really required you to be creative to get through it,” Harris told him.

Booker actually had a hand in the shop’s opening. Rozier said he heard Booker, then Newark’s mayor, talking on the radio about how the city needed a cupcake shop.

Rozier originally had five locations in New York. The Newark location opened in 2017.

As for Friday’s vice-presidential visit? Rozier said it was last minute.

He said he got a phone call asking if they had cupcakes and if he was in the shop.

“Ten minutes later, the Secret Service came to the door, asking to do surveillance,” Rozier told NJ Advance Media.

“It was amazing to me,” he added about Harris’ appearance. “I’m a big fan of this particular administration. Knowing she’s in my hometown, it was a shock for all us.”

Rozier said Harris was “very down to earth.”

And yes, he said, she’s the most high-profile customer he’s had in the Newark store.

“She is the top personality,” Rozier said.

(Sorry, Sen. Booker.)

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Jonathan D. Salant may be reached at jsalant@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him at @JDSalant.

Brent Johnson may be reached at bjohnson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @johnsb01.

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