Daniellan Louie has had her custom-baking business for ten years and her Bay Ridge shop, Ivy Bakery, for the last five, and now she's returning to her native Manhattan. In April or early May, the baker will bring her extensive menu of sweets to a 1,000-square-foot space at 138 West Houston Street, a big step up from her current 350-square-foot digs. "I'm so excited," she told Grub Street. She says Manhattan customers are more amenable to her habit of "coming up with random items depending on what I have in my fridge." Louie currently offers 500 options (all of which she bakes herself from scratch and most of which can be suited to dietary needs, such as gluten-free). Her favorite is the buttermilk pie: "It's like a cross between crème brûlée, flan, and egg custard," she explains. "People get hooked really fast."
If all goes as planned, the store will stay open late — Louie is aiming for 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. "Evening will be more of a dessert lounge" complete with a D.J., she says, and eventually she hopes to secure a license to serve wine. Savory lunch items like soups, salads, and focaccia might also be part of the plan, "if the area wants it." Whether Louie will keep her Bay Ridge shop remains up in the air. "I'm waiting to see if business picks up," she told us. "Brooklyn is totally different, especially in Bay Ridge — it's very traditional."