An excerpt from the 12/17 nytimes
Brooklyn’s Allure? Fancy Cakes, Dahling
By HELENE STAPINSKI
Because of cheap rents and relative proximity to the affluent if demanding customers of Manhattan, at least five bakeries have settled within a two-mile radius of one another. “You’re not going to get customers to come out and meet you in Queens,” Ms. Gamble said. “But they will come in to Brooklyn.”.....
A few blocks up Columbia Street from Elegantly Iced is Nine Cakes, which Betsy Thorleifson, a former harpsichordist from Washington State, opened just over a year ago, focusing on tiered specialty cakes. In Carroll Gardens, Karyn Kwok opened Kakes in May, and this summer displayed her cartoonish cakes, including giant cheeseburgers and Oreos, in her Sackett Street window. Two miles away, in a second-floor kitchen, is Made in Heaven, which moved from Staten Island to Gowanus two years ago in search of a “higher-end clientele,” Lisa Zagami said. She runs the business with her husband and 21-year-old daughter.
The Zagamis trace their baking roots to Lisa’s father, Anthony, who ran Savola, an Italian bakery on the Lower East Side, for 35 years. Lisa’s husband, Victor, worked at Brooklyn’s best Italian bakeries — like Villabate and Argento’s — before becoming a correction officer for 20 years. After he retired, “we dragged him back in,” Lisa Zagami said.
Their daughter, Victoria, graduated recently from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and worked in Manhattan with Colette Peters — whom Lisa Zagami calls “the Picasso of cakes” — before joining her parents’ 15-year-old wedding cake operation.
Victoria Zagami’s first edible artwork was helping her mother design her first communion cake at age 7. Until she joined the family business a year ago, the shop did mostly traditional tiered wedding and special-occasion cakes. “Now we’re doing more intricate, whimsical things,” she said....