Nellie J’s Café

  • Comfort Food – Corporate Catering – Wedding & Event Catering
  • Pittsburgh, PA


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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 home cook and baker, Nellie made everything from scratch with great love and care.

OUR STORY ~ Stacey & Tara

The mother half of our duo, Stacey, is also known as The Diabetic Pastry Chef™,
a published cookbook author and avid baker with nationwide and A-List celebrity clientele. Stacey also participates in the Local Artisans Market at Williams-Sonoma in Pittsburgh, so sampling and sale of her scrumptious baked goods are often available.

Her daughter, Tara, is the enthusiastic cook in the family, crafting memorable feasts for “two-to-a-crew” since adolescence. Having prior culinary experience as a Corporate Caterer at La Prima Catering in Crystal City, VA, she provided corporate and event catering in Washington D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Tara has Afro-Euro (including Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Sardinian) ancestry and teaches cultural cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma; most recently, she taught attendees how to make authentic jambalaya, crispy air-fried chicken and flavorful vegetarian dishes. (Stay tuned for details on Tara's upcoming Portuguese cooking class!)

We offer a lot of our pastries, candies, sauces, seasonings and specialty foods
via our website and Etsy 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.

Visit our Contact page to inquire about local catering in the Pittsburgh, PA area.

*PICKUP Only - Our location is in Pittsburgh - NO LOCAL DELIVERY.
*NATIONWIDE SHIPPING is available for many items via our shops online.
*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 can provide you with our standard menus 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, and this culinary signature cannot be duplicated.

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.

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!


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 online stores or PayPal, with a 50% deposit required upon placing your order, and the remainder due upon pickup.

PayPal conveniently processes credit or debit card payments as either a guest transaction or via your own PayPal account, which secures your event date.

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 at La Prima Catering

Crystal City, VA

Corporate and event catering for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Serving Washington D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.


B.A., Humanities, English & Communication at University of Pittsburgh (Pitt)

Pittsburgh, PA

Harvard ManageMentor® certificates at Harvard Business School


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

ServSafe® Food Protection Manager certificate at National Restaurant Association



Winning Recipe, Maine Lobster Promotion Council (MLPC)

Herbed Bread Pudding with Maine Lobster & Cassava


South Park Community Day! Town Fair

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 Market

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., Sept. 1, 2018 from 12-4pm

Williams-Sonoma® Cooking Class Series Discovering Roots: Portuguese Cooking

The Galleria Mt. Lebanon, PA

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

Williams-Sonoma® Cooking Demo Philips® Air-Fryer Demo

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 Lenten Meal Ideas

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 Jambalaya!

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 Television

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 & PastriesGluten-Free CookiesFood StylingHandmade Cereals, Jams & ChocolatesHealthy Handmade Flours & Baking MixesCreative Handcrafted CardsGift BasketsBaking DemonstrationsNationwide Shipping


CookingBakingParty PlanningEvent OrganizingRecipe DevelopmentBilingual (English & Italian)