Ok, it’s time. I’ve been holding out on you all for long enough.
October is a pretty important month for us. We were married seven years ago on October 7th. We have a special, made up holiday with the kids each October where we drive to the country, celebrate the fact we’re a family, at eat copious amounts of pie. Next Thursday, October 17th, is when our first cookbook is being released.
October is also the month when we closed our first store, four long years ago.
There’s a lot of feelings that come up when we reflect on that last one. There’s no doubt that it was the right decision, not only for our company, but for our family. We’ve spent the last four years growing at a speed we were comfortable with while being very active in our children’s lives. Being a wholesale company allowed us to garner new fans all over the tri-state area and beyond, and it’s been a hell of a ride. (Which, I may add, we’ve documented in painful and hilarious detail in our upcoming cookbook/memoir Robicelli’s: A Love Story, With Cupcakes! Expect about 16 more plugs of this before the end of the post.)
But we missed you guys. We missed a lot of things.
For one, in the past four years we’ve been limited to producing five items because of time and space constraints — cupcakes, brownies, whoopie pies, pound cakes, and hot cocoa. All the other awesome things from the original gourmet shop bakery? The scones? The pies? The cookies and sticky buns and cake donuts? We’d occasionally have them as a secret menu item at a pop-up, or at the late DeKalb Market when we were able, but logistically we weren’t able to bring them out on a regular basis, no matter how many times they were requested (and that group of hardcore fans knows exactly who they are). And remember the ice cream sandwiches? We couldn’t make them at all this past year! I mean, I suppose we could have done more markets instead of taking our kids to Disney World and the like, but that wasn’t an option for us.
Why? Because this was the last summer before Toby went to kindergarten and we had two boys in school. And we knew that was going to change everything for us.
For the past four years, we’ve been asked two questions over and over. One is “When do you think the cupcake craze will finally be over?”, because some people can’t think of anything original, or be bothered to do any sort or research whatsoever. (FYI- I answered this question on Medium.com back in April)
The other is “When do you think you’re going to open a brick and mortar shop again?”, and we’d always say we we wouldn’t even consider it until the boys started school. I know it sounded insane to people that we wouldn’t capitalize on our Q-list fame and rabid following, that we wouldn’t just drop the kids off at some day care center and hightail it to the Lower East Side where everyone knows we’ve had a massive shortage of twee bakeries.
But this was worth it. That’s one thing I’m sure of.
This brings us to today, Wednesday October 9th. Matt and I are home on my couch, answering emails, doing radio interviews by phone, and enjoying the quiet that envelops a house when it’s two youngest residents are off at school.
And between all that, we’re working on the brand spanking new bakery we’re opening in a few weeks.
SURPRISE! You guys are going to keep seeing a lot more of these two sexy mugs right here. We’re building out a brand new Robicelli’s HQ where we’re personally going to be baking on-premises, in front of a live audience, nearly every single day. We’re bringing out the recipe book we’ve been writing for the nine years we’ve been in love, and baking all your old favorites plus lots you’ve never seen before. We’re completely revamping the website, and making all the changes we’ve wanted to for ages but couldn’t. We’re also moving to a bigger apartment during the whole store/book process, because I’m really banking on having a complete nervous breakdown by the end of the year.
And we decided to do it right where we started, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Why at the ass end of the R line, and not some trendy neighborhood like Carroll Gardens, or GreenSwope, or Wickvesant? Well, we thought about doing that, but it never felt right. I mean, we’ve been underdogs since day one. We’re a company that got famous for making the best version of a food that was “over” in 1994 (according to the most recent data complied by a 23 year old food blogger named Braylee), We both have spent our entire lives in a place that was destined to become the center of the trendy universe, but on the WRONG SIDE OF IT. The icky part where all the “townies” live, where we only have one artisanal wine bar and a startling lack of haberdasheries.
If you’ve followed us for a long time, than you know our goal has always been to cook amazing food for the Average Joe, to make sure that class has nothing to do with the way a chef treats you, and to put the same hard work into something a union laborer would eat that we would for a billionaire.
That’s our next chapter. To keep cooking for everyone, but especially the little guy. To put good things back into our community, and to keep doing that for all the working class neighborhoods we’ve always loudly stood up for. To remind people that there’s beautiful things happening in all of Brooklyn, and much of it has come from people who have always called it home.
But for those of you who are freaking out that you’ll never be able to survive an entire trip on the R train (it sucks, we admit it), you’ll be happy to know that we’ll still be wholesaling around the city and Long Island. We’ll be doing even more of it, in fact.
For now, I leave you with today’s cupcakes, and an invitation to ask me as many questions as you’d like about the store over on Facebook or Twitter. I’ll put the answers up on Friday. Now, back to figuring out how I’m going to pack and move the contents of this entire apartment in the next few weeks. And daydrinking. LOTS of daydrinking.
Hazelnut Kiss: Chocolate hazelnut cake, Nutella buttercream, roasted hazelnuts
Sweet Potato Casserole: Sweet potato cake, toasted marshmallow buttercream, demerera sugar
Butterbrew: Butterscotch soaked cake, butterscotch buttercream, edible gold dust
S’Mores: Chocolate cake, speculoos pudding, toasted marshmallow buttercream, ganache, graham crumbs