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Saturday, June 8, 2019

That Chelsea Morning

The cool group tour at Chelsea Market was a few weeks ago, but I've been busy. And then I wrote the whole story here and lost it at 11 p.m. one night.

We saw some women-run businesses in that bustling food mecca--and the final stop on the tour was Blackbarn shop/cafe/bar, which I had reported on for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME.

Here is the recap. Click on the business name after each bullet to see the sites.
  • Amy's Bread. I've long loved the blue exterior of the location on Ninth Avenue--I passed it often on my walk home from Hearst Magazines to the Port Authority. I met my friend Celia at Chelsea Market for lunch and we went to Amy's. I have the cookbook, hard to resist. The place is famous for old-fashioned layer cakes and more. Owner/founder Amy Scherber wasn't in, but the samples of chocolate sourdough bread were--and they were yummy.  
  • Fat Witch Bakery. Have you been to this one? Supercute brownies cut into neat little squares and wrapped carefully in cellophane, like afternoon-snack gifts. Just add milk. We met owner Patricia Helding, warm as a fresh batch emerging from the oven. Her line has grown to include everything from brownie mixes to adorable totes. Helding grew up in a suburb outside Chicago with "a mother who baked a lot"--and said she likes witches. [The one on the label is endearing.]  If you like baking pies, bake pies, said Helding, but stressed that this isn't just brownie-baking but running a business. Next treat on the line: Something called Orange Crunch, so look for it. We each received a small, chubby Fat Witch brownie that I tried  to save for brownie-lover Punch, but did not. The baker said she admires Starbucks founder Howard Schultz. I mean, I don't drink coffee, but he created a brand, and even though the logo has changed over the years, the brand is intact and thriving.  
  • Zach & Zoe Sweet Bee Farm. What a small, small world. Beautiful Summer, who runs this business in NJ with her husband [they named it after their two children], said more than once to me, I know you. I know you from somewhere. Then she figured it out. It turns out the family lived in the corner house on our block several years back--but moved farther out into "the country" after a couple of years. They have 5.7 acres now. My friends Claire and Pat and their four kids live in that corner house and now I know it well! Check the zingy flavors, including beetroot and matcha. Time for a stylish new honey wardrobe for your pantry. Summer even said they kept a big Tupperware full of honey on their son Zach's nightstand and gave him 2 big tablespoonfuls every night for a while and it cleared up his allergy/breathing issue.

  • BLACKBARN. This is a must-see, with a mixologist who stirs up cocktails like "Sweater Weather" [for winter] and "Garden Party," which we had, plus beautiful wines like Fleur de Mer petal-pink rosé from the lavender hills of Provence. We were surprised with a full lunch here. If you like the plates you eat on, you can also buy them, said Kristen Zeff, who co-owns the spot with her husband, Mark. I was drawn to pink plates.....and a handcrafted espresso dark chocolate bar, which I plan to go back for.....the farm-to-table food was so good. Portobello mushrooms with polenta cakes and Chicken Milanese Sliders...oh my yum. The store offers merchandise from Africa, a personal care line made in NY--and a bespoke floral counter with breathtaking blooms. Enjoy.


  1. Nice to read, you sound busy and happy. We did not celebrate Will getting a bachelors degree, instead going to his cousins party. So we are gearing up to celebrate his masters and his passing his certification exam. My 23 yo baby now is licensed inMD and can give therapeutic advice as an OT!

    For two years we have been working on the second floor of our house and have not had three bedrooms set up. We got Will’s finished with moments to spare before he moved home, and now are scrambling because John and his GF arrive a week from Tuesday to stay for a week. Will and I move furniture, and Peter paints a door, and I hope to be finished today.

    My brother had a back injury and since Oct. 2017 is in a wheelchair, my house will present challenges. But a mobility company came out and we can rent 2 ramps and Transport chair that rolls into the doorway of our tiny powder room which has a grab bar.

    CA brother is newly engaged so must order cake for family gathering at my house the night before the party where we meet fiancée. Do not tell anyone, but I ordered her a Star Trek uniform and her two kids t shirts from Firefly and Farscape, two cult sci-fi shows my brother, Peter and me all like. And I will put “live long and prosper”on the cake.

    Anyway,miss you too, and now you can see why the money is pouring forth!


    1. Oh, I see. You must be so proud of your son. Sorry about that back injury for your brother...ouch. I adore the Star Trek cake and creative....yay.....Dan is feeling sick, haven't checked calendars yet. Sending love.....Alice