Forget Me Not Cupcakes
Cupcakes for a Cause
Story by Erin Wyble Newcomb
Photo courtesy of Pat Roza
Picture a short, yellow school bus with the word “cupcakes” on the back. Purple lines along the top display a banner of cupcakes. The back and sides of this cheerful vehicle feature giant images of cupcakes with wings. This is the Forget Me Not Cupcakes food truck, and its founder and owner, Pat Roza, is a woman on a mission.
I talked with Pat over coffee on a cold, cloudy afternoon. And though the bus doesn’t see as much action on a winter day like that, she told me she keeps busy making cupcakes and distributing them throughout the Hudson Valley, sometimes as donations and sometimes to personal or corporate customers. I’ll get to what makes the cupcakes themselves so special, but behind that story is what makes Pat Roza so special.
Ten years ago, Pat lost her son Christopher Joseph Usifer to complications from a substance-abuse disorder. The business name and those winged cupcakes are both in Christopher’s honor, and Pat donates 10 percent of her profits to the Council on Addiction Prevention and Education (CAPE) in memory of her son. She has connections to bereaved parents’ groups and Friends of Recovery in Dutchess County, as well as to community members working to destigmatize addiction and help people on the road to recovery. For Pat, it’s not about the money or the delicious cupcakes, but about telling her son’s story and raising awareness about an issue that can affect any family.