Big news today, guys!
First off, we hope you all had a terrific Easter, and that got to enjoy the arrival (finally!) of the gorgeous blue skies and fluffy cotton clouds and all the other things we’ve been been so terribly deprived of over the past few months. We took the opportunity to make our first voyage out of town with the boys for 2013, to a very elegant Crowne Plaza off exit 8 on the NJ Turnpike.
Very nice hotel, btw!
Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for a long time, you know when we go out of town, “big news” almost always follows. Matt and I spend a few days out of the city, cell phones off, and enjoying time with our children who are (as expected) growing up too fast, and we come home with a renewed energy about our lives, a lot of clarity about our future, and usually some throw pillows and underwear because there’s a Target out here.
For a few months now, we’ve felt a little like hamsters on a wheel. We’re almost at the 5th anniversary of being in business, and we just passed the 4th anniversary of the first time we made cupcakes. We’ve made over 300 flavors of the damn things, and have a book coming out about them in October. Thing is, making them is somewhat emotionally unfulfilling, sort of like what Drew Barrymore must feel every time she makes a movie.
We make lots more than just cupcakes- like brownies and other stuff- but all anyone cares about is the freaking cupcakes. It doesn’t matter how much pastry science we know, how many things we make- the cupcakes are our wheel, we’re the hamsters, and we’ll forever and ever be taking care of business and getting to the “Working Overtime” part. (props to the six people who got that reference)
As of late, with planning for Googa Mooga and other projects and just doing our jobs as usual, it’s been sort of hard. We’re stuck in a rut and are missing that passion, that creative spark that we had years ago when we set out to save cupcakes and make ones that didn’t taste like a mixture of shortening, sugar, and ass. We needed something to revive us, to inspire us. And the only way we know how to do that is to get in the car and drive to someplace with an indoor pool and an unlimited breakfast buffet.
I told you it was nice! And they have blintzes!
Funny thing is, this time, the moment of clarity came quickly. It came before the rest and relaxation- before we even got to the hotel. We barely got off the Goethals Bridge when we encountered this, which can only be seen as destiny:
Now to most of you, this would appear as simply a sign advertising a run-of-the-mill rest stop, albeit one with a Roy Rogers so maybe y’all should be rethinking that “run-of-the-mill” comment. But to Matt and I, we could only see what it is now obvious God wanted us to see- the name “Grover Cleveland”. When anyone thinks of Grover Cleveland, they think of three things:
1. Only president to serve two non-consecutive terms
2. Granted a Federal injunction in the Pullman strike
3. Looks like a giant chicken.
Don’t believe me? Here’s HARD EVIDENCE:
Long story short, after a solid 10 minutes of singing whatever was playing on the radio in the style of dueting chickens, we started talking about how much we loved them. I mean, they’re so compact! We try to buy things locally, but truth is there’s no was we could ever achieve “Brooklyn” levels of sustainability when we don’t have the room to be milling our own flour and churning our own butter in our teeny tiny apartment. But chickens? You could probably stack those babies ten high and five across in your basic freestanding wardrobe from Ikea. We could put them on leashes and take them on walks, we could read them stories and play them pan flute music. It’s this sort of logic that explains why there are 65 chickens from a small farm in New Jersey currently crammed into the trunk of my Honda Civic.
It’s funny how life works. One second you’re on the road, wondering who you are and what it’s all about, and POOF!, the answers appear. The initial passion we had as young chefs and entrepreneurs came flooding back to us, like in that Celine Dion song. It was like we both had a flashforward, saw our future as vividly as day, and knew what we were supposed to be doing.
Ladies and gentlemen- today will be the final day to get Robicelli’s baked goods. We loved it, it’s been fun, but let’s be honest- cupcakes stopped being interesting 14 years ago, pie never took off, and nobody wants to write about brownies or any of the other stuff we make. People in Brooklyn want NEW and EXCITING and MEANINGFUL FOODS THAT ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT GIMMICKY AT ALL AND REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY SERIOUS.
Beginning this Saturday, Robicelli’s will now be your one-stop-shop for…….
ARTISAN DEVILLED EGGS!
Matt and I spent a good 15 to 20 minutes while driving between exit 9 and exit 8A sketching this whole thing out, pulled over at a WaWa and scribbled a business plan out on a napkin, and now we’ve got a book deal, commitments at at least 3 artisan markets, with a retail storefront planned for the Lower East Side at some point in late summer. This is a big deal guys, and you are going to have your socks knocked COMPLETELY off. Even if you wear flip flops.
Prepare ye for such bold flavors as:
the lorimer: whipped goat cheese, crispy beet, microgreens we stole from from Jonathan Safran Foer’s Chia Herb Garden
the nostrand: charred shishito pepper aioli, Sheepshead bluefish crudo, crushed Taki dust
the 26th & 3rd under the gowanus: RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMPPPS
the bay ridge parkway: badger milk buratta, Jersey tomato confit, Ed Hardy scented frizzled artichokes
I can’t even bring myself to type anymore because I’m getting so hungry and I’ve already eaten all 18 hard boiled eggs my kids dyed for Easter and need to place myself til the morning. Just know that this is only the beginning, folks! This is still Robicelli’s, and just because we’ve moved from baked goods to devilled eggs doesn’t mean we’re radically altering our business. In fact, we currently have a menu that features over 460 varieties of devilled egg! About 230 of them are just with crumbled bacon, but each one is a bacon from a different farm so it counts.
So get excited folks! And go out and grab as many of these as you can for one final sweet moment where you can say goodbye. Maybe pick up an extra to sell on Craig’s List!
Creamsicle: Orange cake, vanilla buttercream, candied orange peel
Caramel Macchiato: Chocolate espresso cake, caramel macchiato buttercream, crushed chocolate espresso beans
The Siobhan: Chocolate cake, bourbon butterscotch buttercream, mini chocolate chips
Banana Cream Pie: Banana cake, vanilla custard, custard buttercream, banana chip, graham crumbs
*****NOTE: Before anyone emails me over this post, please go back and read the date. If you still don’t get it, please Google the date. Thank you for your Googling in advance****