HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- By the Way Bakery , the much beloved gluten-free bakery which got its start in Hastings and has since spread to Manhattan's Upper West and Upper East Sides, will open it's doors to customers in Greenwich on Wednesday, Dec. 21 just in time for the holiday rush.
The shop, at 19 E. Putnam Ave., is the brainchild of an ex-corporate lawyer who went from spending her days crafting contracts to building one of the area’s fastest-growing food businesses.
Helene Godin -- who admits she was never an avid baker -- gave up a 22-year career as a media attorney to start a bite-sized bakery in her Westchester hometown. Her goal was to connect with her neighbors, and she had a hunch that people were eager to try gluten-and-dairy-free foods. More than that, people were hungry for an authentic experience, something local and handmade.
So, with no formal training, By the Way was born. The challenge was to create treats that were, without exception, worth a special trip, says Godin.
“I refused to compromise. We needed to be able to say, ‘this is delicious’ with no excuses.’”
With much research and hard work befitting a longtime lawyer, Godin opened her first bakery in May 2011; the Upper West Side followed in January 2014, and the third opened on the Upper East Side in October, 2015.
Now Greenwich makes four. The store is located just off “The Avenue” at 19 East Putnam Avenue. Like the other three BTWs, the store has an oak door with a French rolling pin for a handle. A mason jar light fixture hangs from the tin ceiling. The cabinets are buttercream yellow. The floor is reclaimed wood from a barn in Missouri.
Most important, the new BTW will sell the same baked goods offered at the other three locations — blueberry muffins bursting with blueberries, a lemon layer cake made with fresh lemon zest and filled with homemade lemon curd, brownies made with the finest Belgian chocolate.
And, by the way, everything is gluten-free, dairy-free and certified kosher pareve.
With sales for 2016 exceeding $2 million, By the Way Bakery is a runaway success story. Hastings-on-Hudson Mayor Peter Swiderski said, “The Village of Hastings is thrilled to have helped launch BTW on its incredible trajectory.
"What’s so wonderful is that no matter how large it gets, By the Way Bakery will always be — at its core — a special place, where everything is made with incredible care and attention to detail.”
Until quite recently, all of By the Way Bakery’s baking was done in a tiny kitchen behind the storefront in the original BTW in Westchester. However, on September 29th there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new 7,000+ square foot commissary kitchen in Pleasantville.
This state-of-the-art facility can now meet current demands including BTW’s thriving wholesale business (the company’s products are in 12 Whole Foods Markets). And there’s plenty of room as By the Way Bakery sales continue to soar.
Sitting in her office in the new commissary – the first office she’s had since she left the corporate world six years ago – Godin paused for a rare moment to reflect. “I used to be a lawyer at Readers Digest, which was located just down the street in Pleasantville.
"If you had told me then that I’d be running a fast-growing company with 45 employees, a food company(!), just down the street from where I was doing complex deals, I’d have told you that you were crazy. Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Go to www.btwbakery.com/ for more information.