April 23, 2024
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April 23, 2024
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Baked on Boulevard: Signature, Accessible Treats Delivered

Say you work all week, have kids in school and maybe a baby at home as well, and everyone in the household is running, non-stop. Now, close your eyes and imagine that you come home on Friday afternoon to find that your neighbor left a dozen freshly baked cookies on your kitchen island.

Rachel Zamist wants that. Who wouldn’t want that? And she has now made it possible for others to have that too.

Zamist knows that sometimes even the most experienced home bakers don’t have time to make everyone’s favorite Shabbos treats. From this simple idea came a super-lean, new type of bakery business model that has taken off in her Passaic community. Baked on Boulevard, Zamist’s company, has pareve treats now being enjoyed every week around the metropolitan area, with deliveries to the Upper West Side and Teaneck/Bergenfield every Friday.

She recruits home bakers, most often friends of hers, who are famous for a particular item, whether it’s that decadent Oreo pound cake, that amazing raspberry thumbprint cookie, those nutty biscotti, that inspirational babka or just a comforting, perfectly soft-baked, classic chocolate chip cookie. She then hires them to bake that signature item for her, in her industrial kitchen, which is certified by Passaic’s kashrus vaad (PCK).

The business started with Zamist baking on her own, with a few signature items. But as her customer base grew, she realized there was an interest and a demand for more of the types of sweets she was offering.“I had to expand my product list but I didn’t have so many marketable baked goods up my sleeve, so I had to come up with another plan. That other plan was finding friends whose items I had always loved, and bringing them on board.” Specialty items she found included toffee, brownie bars, granola, scones and challah. The rest is history.

“My business is really meant for the home baker who doesn’t have the time to get it done. This is the stuff you want your kids to grab, or to enjoy yourself with a cup of coffee. It’s something you want to have in your home because it’s easy, and it tastes great.” Having said that, she also noted some of her items are specially ordered for kiddushim and special events, like that Oreo pound cake, which is now baked in two sizes to meet her customers’ demand.

What makes these treats special is they are all basics done very well. Nothing that comes from Baked on Boulevard is intimidating; these are classic items that aren’t stuffy. “When you see a beautiful cake at a simcha or you go to a party and see these fancy decorated cookies, you are almost scared to eat them. And then you are almost always disappointed by the taste,” Zamist said. “The difference of what Baked on Boulevard has to offer is that everything you are going to bite into is going to taste great.”

Channeling Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten, the Food Network personality who is known for doing classics simply and well, with handpicked ingredients and with friends at her side, Zamist said all her bakers are generally home trained. “No one went to a culinary institute or makes fancy sugar flowers; everyone has their signature baked good, and we are a culmination of everybody’s signature item.”

Always keeping her eye on that super-lean business perspective, she noted she doesn’t waste money on over-the-top packaging, though her attractive, Kraft paper bakery boxes are adorable and serviceable. Baked on Boulevard’s logo is also cute and professional. “I am just going to make sure that what you are eating and getting is great,” she said.

Zamist added she makes sure to build reliable ingredients into her budget and, after meeting the chocolate chip rep from California Gourmet at 2015’s Kosherfest, she now exclusively uses their chips. “Nothing beats getting a 50-pound box of chocolate chips delivered, and then realizing that will only last you a couple of weeks,” she joked.

The Baked on Boulevard brand, then, in this way, is reflective of her business name—she lives on a street named Boulevard—and her adherence to simple baking. “I am not really a foodie. I might believe that lemon juice from the lemon will always be better than lemon juice from a bottle, but I don’t need that lemon to be picked from a local farm,” she said.

“I love cake. I can appreciate it. But I don’t have to appreciate it with imported chocolate,” Zamist said.

Learn more and order visit: http://www.bakedonboulevard.com or Baked on Boulevard on Facebook. You can also email [email protected].

By Elizabeth Kratz

 

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