WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Fans of By The Way Bakery (BTW ) will be happy to know there will be more gluten-free love to be had.
The Hastings bakery, which also has locations on the Upper East and Upper West sides of Manhattan, recently moved its kitchen to a new 7,000-plus-square-foot commissary at 99 Castleton Street in Pleasantville. The commissary is for baking purposes only; nothing is for sale.
Owner Helene Godin, who founded BTW in 2010, said her plan to expand her production facilities had been in the works for months with construction on a tight deadline due to the Jewish New Year. In addition to being gluten- and dairy-free, all BTW goods are certified kosher.
Last year, she said, the bakery couldn't begin to meet the demand for its challah production because the Hastings kitchen is so tiny. This year, her team is baking tirelessly in Pleasantville to have challah for as many holiday tables as possible.
Godin began looking for a space in the spring of 2015 and signed the lease for Pleasantville this past April. "The buildout took almost six months on a very accelerated schedule," she said. "Kenny Aluisio of Hastings Electric & Mechanical Services was our GC and Project Manager. He had an amazing team of local trades people who really put their hearts and souls into the project -- and it shows."
The new Pleasantville facility ups BTW's capabilities by five times its original footprint.
"We’re moving from an 800 square foot kitchen to one that’s 7,000+ square feet," said Godin. "Our ovens can bake hundreds of cookies at a time, and we can line up 30 layer cakes at a time for filling and frosting. We can also add more stores and more wholesale accounts with ease."
"We’ve been holding back, notwithstanding the demand, because we just didn’t have the space."
The new facility will service its retail locations -- a fourth is set to open next month in Greenwich -- as well as wholesale production of its mini cakes and cake slices found in the desserts sections at a dozen Whole Foods.
The state of the art space is also HACCP and SQF certified. Those certifications ensure that both the wholesale and retail customers BTW bakes for are in accordance with the strictest food safety standards in the industry, explained Godin.
In addition, OK Kosher Certification, one of the world’s leading and most recognized kosher certification agencies, will supervise By the Way Bakery’s daily operations at the new commissary, while Rabbi Aaron Mehlman will continue to oversee the retail locations.
"According to the New York State Department of Agriculture, kosher-certified food is one of the fastest growing sectors in the food industry," said Godin.
"Certification by OK Kosher will give a large segment of BTW customers an additional layer of confidence that kosher standards are kept to the highest levels."
After Godin opens on 19 E. Putnam Avenue in Greenwich -- the timetable is set for before Thanksgiving -- she'll then focus on wholesale.
"We’re speaking with a major restaurant chain and a couple of major distributors," she said. "But no matter how much we grow, our focus will always be on our customers.
"We want to make life a little sweeter for those who avoid gluten or dairy, are kosher, or just love high-quality baked goods."
Go to www.btwbakery.com/ for more information.