Harlem’s Sugar Rush: New bakeries call Harlem home

Front of NYC Store

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Make My Cake, Tonni’s Minis, and Mr. Lee Lee might be a few of the authentic Harlem Bakeries that immediately come to mind, but what if I mentioned Magnolia Bakery, Levain Bakery, and Hot Bread Kitchen?  Not so much?  What if I told you that all of the aforementioned will be opening an outpost in Harlem in 2011? Some of you might be saying ‘sweet’ and others might be saying ‘sugar!’ Here is a quick run down:

Magnolia Bakery was made famous by the ladies of HBO’s “Sex and the City.”  They quickly outgrew their Bleeker Street location and crept uptown to the Upper West Side. Now Magnolia is looking to expand even farther uptown having signed a 10 year lease for a 5,200 square foot distribution center in East Harlem. They join Fat Witch, a brownie company that also has a distribution facility on Park Avenue at 122nd Street. Don’t look for the “Sex and the City” tour buses to follow Magnolia uptown however.

Another UWS transplant, Levain Bakery, is prepping to open up in the former two level space formerly occupied by Tribal Spears Gallery on Frederick Douglass Boulevard. Like Magnolia, Levain is also expanding their mail order operations. While some concerns may arise about competition with established Harlem bakeries, it seems that Levain’s signature item is their cookies. Harlem has its share of cupcakes, pies, and rugelach but we have yet to get a ‘go to’ cookie place.

Hot Bread Kitchen is a non-profit social enterprise that creates better lives for low-income women by paying women while they learn the skills necessary to launch food businesses. To help offset the cost of training HBK sells multi-ethnic breads at local farmers markets and to well-know retailers like Dean and Deluca.

Hot Bread Kitchen recently moved into a state-of-the-art bakery and training facility in the historic La Marqueta and the program is preparing to launch a new small food business incubator, HBK Incubates.

So, is there room for more bakeries in Harlem?  What about the issue of Harlem being considering one of the “fattest” neighborhoods in New York?  Does having a slew of bakeries have an impact? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

  • Levain Bakery 2167 Fredrick Douglas Blvd btween . Opening early in 2011
  • Magnolia Bakery 1751 Park Avenue. (Operations only; Spring 2011)
  • Hot Bread Kitchen La Marqueta 115th and Park Avenue

3 thoughts on “Harlem’s Sugar Rush: New bakeries call Harlem home

  1. I think there is plenty of room for bakeries in Harlem, I just wish there were more gyms& yoga places on the east side north of 116 so we could have a place to burn off those extra calories.

  2. Also the famous Fat Witch Bakery now has a Fat Witch Factory on Park Ave in Harlem. They are known for their brownies and have a bakery in the Chelsea Market but now calls Harlem Home as well. Sorry for the delay I’ve been sitting on this wanted to take a pic.


    1753 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10035-2831 (212) 289-8325 ‎ This is on the corner of 122nd St.

    Happy New Year!

    • Hi Alton,

      I went back and added Fat Witch after hitting publish. You must have read an earlier version. They seem to be next door neighbors: 1751 and 1753 Park Ave.


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