Ellen Baumwoll Interview
(Betty Bakery)

Back in 2006, Cheryl Kleinman of Cheryl Kleinman cakes and Ellen Baumwoll of Bijoux Doux specialty cakes decided to combine their talents and open Betty bakery in the heart of Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

They never looked back.

Ellen Baumwoll fills us in.

Q - Ellen, you and Cheryl both had your own businesses. What was the advantage of joining forces with Cheryl? Was it sharing expenses? Sharing clients? Sharing each other’s expertise?
A - Cheryl needed a partner and I needed more space so it made sense for us.

Q - Could you set up shop in any other city but New York? You need a city with a large population to succeed in don’t you?
A - I think there are enough people all over now who are exposed to high end work so I could probably set up shop in many more places now then just the big cities.

Q - You were born in New York City?
A - Yes. Proudly so.

Q - How did you get interested in baking?
A - At CIA (Culinary Institute of America). I had the opportunity to do a fellowship with Albert Kumin, a returning professor and an incredible pastry chef.

Q - How did you start your own bakery? Isn’t that expensive?
A - Starting any food business in this city is enormously expensive. I started doing custom cakes out of my studio with cakes baked by my former boss.

Q - What does Betty bakery mean?
A - It is homage to particular time and place, mid-20th century, and all the Betties of that time. Pretty girls were called “Betties” by boys. One of our teachers was Betty Van Nostrand. It’s just a general feeling of home, comfort and quality.

Q - Where do the ideas come from for your cakes?
A - Mostly from the client.

Q - Why don’t you ship your products at this time?
A- Its too risky. The products are too fragile.

Q - Are you always in the back working or do you ever work behind the counter?
A - Both.

Q - How are cupcakes sales these days? Is it true the public will no longer pay high prices for a cupcake?
A - Cupcakes sales are good. People will pay for quality I think.

Official website: www.bettybakery.com
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