1. News
  2. /
  3. Health

You can help St. Pete dessert bar send cupcakes to local hospitals

Swah-Rey will start taking “Minis for Medics” orders online today.
Swah-Rey will deliver cupcakes to first responders.
Swah-Rey will deliver cupcakes to first responders. [ Kathy Saunders ]
Published Mar. 31, 2020
Updated Mar. 31, 2020

Stories about the coronavirus pandemic are free to read as a public service at If this coverage is important to you, consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Tampa Bay Times at

• • •

Leslie Ann Ciccone has been especially sweet on nurses and medical professionals for years. She regularly drops off mini cupcakes to doctor’s offices where her friends are undergoing chemotherapy treatments or to hospitals when family and friends were having surgery.

“My selfish expectation is that they would be treated better,” said the owner of Swah-Rey, a St. Petersburg dessert spot originally opened in 2015. “But my passion is that service is kindness and that kindness always comes back. I send minis to people knowing that their attitudes and demeanor are better when they have cupcakes.”

Though she closed Swah-Rey and its satellite bakery downtown on March 20, Ciccone said her customers were asking to do something to thank the workers on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, she will begin selling “Minis for Medics” and delivering them to the nurses, doctors and first responders in the Tampa Bay area. Ciccone has spent the past few days working out logistics with the hospitals and stations on where and how to make the deliveries. She has to use special packaging approved by the sites.

Based on the number of employees tackling the growing patient caseloads, Ciccone said, Bayfront Hospital said it can accept 1,500 to 2,000 minis per day.

For $70, she will deliver boxes of 36 individually decorated cupcakes. The boxes will include six each of Chocolate Salted Caramel, Red Velvet, Carrot Cake, Blackout (Double Chocolate), Cinnamon Bun and Funfetti (vanilla frosting with sprinkles on top) minis.

Ciccone has a list of customers who have said they want to help when she begins accepting orders on her website on Tuesday. Orders can be placed at

The minis are individually decorated, bite-sized cupcakes. “If Tiffany’s made miniature cupcakes this is what they would look like,” Ciccone said. “They are beautiful like the people who will hopefully enjoy them.”

Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage

GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 and Tampa Bay, six days a week

ISOLATED ENTERTAINMENT: Lists of ideas to help entertain yourself and your kids at home

NEED TAKEOUT?: Here’s the Tampa Bay restaurants offering curbside pick-up or delivery

FOLLOW OUR COVERAGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Reddit.

LISTEN TO THE CORONAVIRUS PODCAST: New episodes every week, including interviews with experts and reporters

HAVE A TIP?: Send us confidential news tips

We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.