Nellie J’s Café


Catering Menus are Above and on Homepage; Catering Details are Below
(For scheduling, our local pickup location or nationwide shipping, deposit, dietary restrictions, etc.)


  • PICKUP (South Hills of Pittsburgh)



Our family's cultural roots are Southern; we strive daily to preserve and celebrate our heritage by preparing soul food just as good as we recall, but a bit healthier.

Nellie J's Café is inspired by our grandmother and great-grandmother, Nellie J. ("J" is for Jackson.) An outstanding and versatile home cook and baker, Nellie made everything from scratch with great love and care.

Her time-honored recipes and zeal for the culinary arts were passed down to her daughter on down to her great-grandchildren. Nellie exemplified the beauty of respecting and celebrating our family's African-American and Southern heritage while also diversifying our palates.

OUR STORY ~ Stacey & Tara

Stacey Harris is a Diabetes Expert—also known as The Diabetic Pastry Chef™—as featured on KDKA-TV and by the American Diabetes Association® and Diabetic Living® magazine. Shortly after attending culinary school to become a pastry chef, she was diagnosed with diabetes. Stacey developed a formula that consistently turned out delicious confections that even non-diabetics love. A talented pastry chef and cookbook author, Stacey's handmade baked goods are not only appealing to the eye, but health-conscious and truly scrumptious...because EVERYONE deserves sweets!

Her daughter, Tara, is a Chef & Culinary Expert at Williams-Sonoma in the South Hills of Pittsburgh and has prior culinary experience as a Corporate Caterer at La Prima Food Group®, where she provided corporate and event catering in the Washington, D.C. Metro area. She refined her epicurean signature during her residence and travel in the Lazio region of Italy. Tara is of African & European (including Spanish, Portuguese, Venetian and Sardinian) descent and teaches a wide range of lively cooking classes at a local Williams-Sonoma® store in Pittsburgh. Most recently, she taught attendees how to make authentic jambalaya, frittatas, Soave-poached salmon, healthy air-fried chicken and flavorful vegetarian dishes.

We offer a lot of our pastries, candies, sauces, seasonings and specialty foods via our website and Etsy shops with NATIONWIDE SHIPPING! We specialize in all-natural baking—including (but not limited to!) SUGAR-FREE—so be sure to explore all of our online shops to please your dietary needs! *See links in footer.

  • Rather pick up your DESSERT/PASTRY order in PITTSBURGH
    (South Hills) instead?

Before placing a pickup order for sweets via our web store, please send us a message via the link below to let us know. We’ll reply with your ordering & pickup instructions:

  • Prefer your items be made WITH SUGAR instead of SUGAR-FREE?

Just select that option when ordering from our bakery website!

Visit our Contact page on this catering website to inquire about sweet and savory catering in the Pittsburgh, PA area.

*Catering Exception:
I do not make wedding or birthday cakes at this time. As a pastry chef specializing in sugar-free pastries and desserts, I do not specialize in cake decorating and cannot ship frosted cakes.
However, I do offer a nice range of cupcakes, cakelets, cake truffles, petits-fours and other attractive and delicious cake options!


– NATIONWIDE SHIPPING is available for many items via our shops online.
– PICKUP (South Hills of Pittsburgh)

*We offer NO services and NO staff and provide NO equipment — only preparation of amazing food and beverages for your pickup (or our shipping) and enjoyment!

We require at least a 24-72 hour notice for most catering orders. Please consider timeliness when placing your order, especially for large volume orders, allowing ample time for us to prepare your food. The sooner you let us know your needs, the more opportunity we have to carefully craft your menu, obtain the best ingredients and put the finishing panache on our creations!

Custom items may incur additional costs and are priced according to the number of servings, availability of special ingredients, and preparation time. Please contact us for an estimate.


We will first provide you with a catering agreement for your signature, which outlines your exact order and total cost.


We accept payment preferably via our bakery website (, where there will be a custom catering listing just for you with your order details and pricing. This custom listing will be detailed as per your signed catering agreement and will give you the option to include any final notes regarding your order.

There, you will have the option upon checkout to pay only your 50% non-refundable catering deposit first (with the other 50% of your total payment due upon pickup or shipping) OR the entire amount.


In some instances, we can also accept payment via PayPal. The same applies as above: A 50% non-refundable catering deposit is required upon placing your order (with the other 50% of your total payment due upon pickup or shipping) OR you can pay the entire amount upfront.

PayPal conveniently processes credit or debit card payments as either a guest transaction or via your own PayPal account.


Please kindly provide the following via our contact page on this catering website in your catering inquiry:

  1. Date AND time (if available) of your event
  2. For approximately OR exactly how many people?
  3. Mainly adults or also children?
  4. Savory and/or Sweet Catering? Please be specific as to the kinds of foods you would like. Are you interested in BOTH savory and sweet foods for the event—OR just savory foods or just desserts?
  5. For Desserts and Pastries: only sugar-free items OR sugar-free + traditional (sugar-added) items?
  6. Besides sugar content, any special dietary restrictions, concerns or preferences?

Thanks for considering Nellie J's Café for your event!

We can provide you with our standard menus (See our header and homepage) or lend our creativity toward helping you plan a stellar menu! We offer party pans of various sizes as well as (non-alcoholic) beverages in single and crowd sizes.

Soul food is comforting and wonderfully versatile; we enrich ours by making simple and tasteful modifications to classic recipes. We offer a range of healthier customization options for you to choose from — so you can customize the salt, fat and sugar content in your selections! Remaining focused on obtaining not only the best ingredients, but those that yield the best result, we source local as well as imported ingredients. Yet it's more than tradition, training and skill, fine ingredients and great recipes; the love, attention, care, quality and pride we put into everything we do comprise what our customers actually taste.

We pay careful attention to avoiding use of food allergens, when specified. However, considering we are a bakery-café, our products contain or may come into contact with common allergens—including wheat, peanuts, soy, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish and shellfish. Although we cannot guarantee that our menu items are allergen-free (we use shared equipment and handle common allergens throughout our supply chain and facility), we strive to make this information available when possible. Please let us know your dietary needs, restrictions and preferences.

As mentioned, we’re often featured artisan vendors at Williams-Sonoma in Mt. Lebanon, PA at The Galleria. Check our events calendar below and come out and see us!

Thanks to The Lynne Hayes-Freeland Show on CBS affiliates WPCW & KDKA in Pittsburgh for featuring us. As it was our third time being featured guests on KDKA-TV, we appreciate the local support.

To invite you to savor our family’s comfort cuisine and create grand memories around your table! We accomplish this by maintaining, and even surpassing, the original taste of our heirloom recipes while utilizing the freshest of ingredients and ease of technology to get comfort food to your door.

Welcome to our family's table!

Stacey & Tara


Corporate Caterer

La Prima Food Group®, Crystal City, VA

Corporate & event catering and foodservice for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Serving Washington D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia, La Prima Food Group® is rated Best Green Caterer and the leading corporate and social caterer in the D.C. Metro area.


B.A., Humanities, English & Communication

University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), Pittsburgh, PA

Harvard ManageMentor® certificates

Harvard Business School,

Presentation Skills • Feedback Essentials • Coaching • Time Management • Innovation & Creativity • Innovation Implementation • Team Leadership

ServSafe® Food Protection Manager certificates

National Restaurant Association,


Original Winning Recipe Maine Lobster Promotion Council (MLPC)

Herbed Bread Pudding with Maine Lobster & Cassava


Bethel Farmers' Market at Pittsburgh, South Park VIP parking lot via Corrigan Drive

Join us at this summertime event; our gourmet sweets, sauces, jams, seasonings and more will be for sale on Tuesdays from May-September.

South Park Community Day at South Park Fairgrounds, South Park, PA

Join us at this annual outdoor event; our most popular handmade sauces, jams, seasonings and pastries will be there!
Date & Time: Sat., Sept. 15, 2018 12pm-dusk

Williams-Sonoma® Local Artisans Market at The Galleria, Mt. Lebanon, PA

Join us on the 1st Sat. of each month for sampling and sale of our sweet and savory goodies!
Next Date & Time: Sat., Oct. 6, 2018 from 12-4pm

Williams-Sonoma® Cooking Class Series at The Galleria, Mt. Lebanon, PA

CLASS MENU: Piri-Piri Chicken, Roasted Oregano Potatoes, Oporto Salad, Sangria & Portuguese Lemon Cake
Date & Time: Fri., August 24, 2018 at 6:30pm

Williams-Sonoma® Cooking Demo at The Galleria, Mt. Lebanon, PA

Learn Tara’s healthy crispy air-fried chicken techniques!
You won’t want to miss her kitchen magic.
Date & Time: Sat., April 7, 2018 at 12:00pm

Williams-Sonoma® Cooking Class Series at The Galleria, Mt. Lebanon, PA

CLASS MENU: Wine-Poached Citrus Salmon, Layered Salad, Toasted Almond Rice Pilaf & Sweet Potato Frittata
Date & Time: Fri., March 2, 2018 at 6:30pm

Williams-Sonoma® Cooking Class Series at The Galleria, Mt. Lebanon, PA

Tara will be showing you how to make authentic Creole Jambalaya, featuring her famous Jambalaya Seasoning!
Date & Time: Sun., October 15, 2017 at 12:00pm

The Lynne Hayes-Freeland Show at CBS affiliates WPCW & KDKA, Pittsburgh, PA

Catch us on The Lynne Hayes-Freeland Show on Sat. & Sun., Dec. 23rd and Christmas Eve, at 7:30am & 6:00am respectively!


  • Sugar-Free Desserts & Pastries
  • Gluten-Free Cookies
  • Vegan Pies
  • Food Styling
  • Handmade Cereals, Jams & Chocolates
  • Healthy Handmade Flours & Baking Mixes
  • Creative Handcrafted Cards
  • Gift Baskets
  • Baking Demonstrations
  • Nationwide Shipping


  • Cooking
  • Baking
  • Party Planning
  • Event Organizing
  • Recipe Development
  • Bilingual (English & Italian)