Typography
The bakery’s owners have some fun while preparing cupcakes.

The recently opened Brklyn Bakery sells a series of traditional New York muffins, cakes and cupcakes.

AS the entrance door’s bell rings to announce the arrival of a new customer, jazz music plays in the background and smell of freshly baked goodies is in the air. A selection of colourful and different tastes cupcakes is right by the counter, facing a couple of cosy-looking, elegant retro-styled tables and chairs. This is Brklyn Bakery, a small paradise for all sweets lovers in downtown Helsinki.

The bakery’s owners have some fun while preparing cupcakes.

The recently opened Brklyn Bakery sells a series of traditional New York muffins, cakes and cupcakes.

AS the entrance door’s bell rings to announce the arrival of a new customer, jazz music plays in the background and smell of freshly baked goodies is in the air. A selection of colourful and different tastes cupcakes is right by the counter, facing a couple of cosy-looking, elegant retro-styled tables and chairs. This is Brklyn Bakery, a small paradise for all sweets lovers in downtown Helsinki.

Owned by Brooklyn natives Brenda and Sharron Todd, the bakery incorporates its cultural delights straight from the heart of New York City. “Brooklyn is famous for velvet cupcakes and chocolate cakes,” explains Brenda. “We are doing the same here, serving cupcakes and cakes, but also cookies, muffins and rice-krispie treats, as well as espresso drinks, coffee and tea.”

Sharron and Brenda, who also own the Brooklyn Café (located just a couple hundred metres up the road), opened the pastry shop in March. “It’s not our fault,” Sharron says. “Initially, we only baked cupcakes on Saturdays. However, people wanted more, so we decided to give them more.”

Working with relatives might sounds challenging for many people, but not for the Todds. “Working with my sister is very cool, I love it!” Brenda says. “We’ve always been best friends and working together means having a lot of fun every single day. We have different styles and personalities, which is very good for business.”

Coming from the Big Apple, Sharron and Brenda took their passion for baking with them. “We’ve been doing this since we were kids,” Sharron stresses. “We’re happy to have taken home with us, to be able to share our culture and food with people who aren’t familiar with it”.

Baking delights with a smile

Just like the Brooklyn tradition wants, Brklyn Bakery sells an impressive variety of cupcakes, with dark chocolate, peanut butter, creme and red velvet, the house’s specialities. These flavoursome mouthfuls represent a chance to take a break from the cold, daily routine or any other situation. “Cupcakes are a happy thing, a cute cake with something sweet on top; they’re synonymous with happiness,” Sharron says. “They forget everything else for a few minutes.”

Brklyn is not all about cupcakes though. Its list also includes cakes, cookies, rice-krispie treats and muffins, as well as espresso drinks and coffee. With summer approaching, the venue will offer outside seating and will serve ice-creams, milkshakes, ice-cream sandwiches and banana splits.

No matter what they do, the Todd sisters are always in a good mood. Baking, preparing a coffee, taking a break, setting the tables… everything is done with a smile, and customers really seem to appreciate this aspect of the bakery. “We have people stopping by and talking about their things,” Brenda adds. “That’s probably the best part: human interaction, having a friendly chat with someone. It’s funny though, because in the States people usually walk in, take their orders and leave. Here, we have many customers asking questions about ingredients and recipes. We tell them everything but the secret ingredients!”

Preparing Brooklyn food abroad

Baking and selling foreign food in Finland comes with its challenges, as the Todd sisters explain: “Coming from another country, one is not that familiar with Finnish habits and food culture,” Sharron says. “Take allergies, for example: here there’s a lot of allergies that weren’t as prevalent back in the US.”

Aware of the importance of food allergies in Finland, Brenda and Sharron decided to start baking special gluten and lactose free items. “It can be quite challenging to get people to be braver and try new things,” Brenda adds. “But when you see somebody having a cupcake, smiling or making pleasurable sounds while eating, you see that they’re satisfied they had taken the ‘risk’. We want everyone to be pleased, it’s important for us to have products for gluten and lactose allergic people too.”

Brklyn Bakery

Fredrikinkatu 25
00120 Helsinki
tel. 046 632 1087

Tue-Fri 09:30-17:30
Sat 09:30-17:30
Closed on Mondays
and Sundays

Orders can be made by
phone or email at:
brklynbakery.helsinki@
gmail.com

A pastry paradise downtown or at home

Like at Brooklyn Cafe, stopping by Brklyn Bakery is like a mini-vacation. With some Billie Holiday playing in the background, a hot cup of tea or coffee and a just-baked cupcake, it’s a little breather from the everyday routine.

In addition to serving sweets and drinks inside the bakery – and soon ice-creams and milkshakes outside – Brklyn has a special catering menu. Personal customers or businesses that are planning a celebration can order their favourite, customised cupcakes and delights. “We prepare cakes, muffins and cupcakes for every kind of celebration: birthdays, weddings, bachelor and bachelorette parties and business events,” Brenda explains. “You can order the cake that suits the most, even a personalised one, and stop to pick it up whenever is best for you.”

In other words, you can either stop by the pastry paradise Brklyn Bakery in Punavuori, or you can bring your own cupcake experience home with you…sweet!

Text and photos Yannick Ilunga

WorldCon 75, Scott Lynch; photo by Jana Blomqvist

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WorldCon 75, Robin Hobb; photo by Jana Blomqvist

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Based on an interview by Alisa Nirman on 3.10.2016

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