HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - The customers who visit By The Way Bakery in Hastings don't always know there's something missing from their sweet treats.
“When people try our products we always say ‘and by the way, it’s gluten and dairy-free,’” said Helene Godin, owner of the bakery. “Even if you don’t have a gluten or dairy allergy, you’re still going to love it.”
Godin spent 20 years as a lawyer before deciding she needed a change of pace. That decision led her to launch By The Way in Hastings last year and, since then, her baked goods have become a local staple.
While the bakery is popular among locals year-round, sales spiked 40 percent during Rosh Hashanah, Godin said, and the bakery extended hours to accommodate the increased demand.
The bakery launched two special items - apple cake and honey cake - to celebrate the Jewish holiday. The cakes are a tribute to the Jewish tradition of sharing honey and apples to wish others a sweet new year, Godin said. The new apple cake has been so popular that Godin decided to keep it on the menu throughout the holiday season.
The bakery is a local favorite, but much of its business comes from outside the Rivertowns with regulars journeying from the Hamptons, Brooklyn and Chappaqua to buy from By The Way, she said. The widespread appeal of the specialty bakery was no accident – Godin said she carefully crafted her place in the market.
“Because the Rivertowns are so small, I knew I needed a niche,” Godin said. “ I needed a reason for Allan from Chappaqua to come buy a cake every week.”
Although the bakery caters to those with food allergies, half of Godin’s customers don’t have any food allergies. Godin said she credits her mainstream appeal to quality ingredients and careful planning. Before opening the bakery, Godin spent months experimenting with different ingredients.
“I needed to make sure the products taste like conventional products,” Godin said. “I don’t skimp on anything. Our lemon cupcakes are loaded with real lemon zest. We use Belgian chocolate, which is the best in the world.”
By The Way Bakery is located at 574 Warburton Ave. and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.