Citing Stresses of City, Beloved Bakers the Robicellis Leave Brooklyn for Baltimore


    Allison and Matt Robicelli, lifelong Brooklynites known for their creative cupcakes (chicken and waffles, anyone?) and Cronut-level novelties like Nutellasagna, are closing up their Bay Ridge shop and moving their family to Baltimore.

    The company’s wholesale business, which distributes to shops around the city, will stay in NYC, but the bakery, at 9009 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge, will close on Christmas Eve, Allison Robicelli told Brooklyn Magazine.

    “The costs of everything just got to a point where we had to ask ourselves, ‘Is this really worth it? Is this what we want from our lives?'” she said.

    There are no set plans for the move to Baltimore, but Robicelli said they have a developer and a partner, and are “99 percent certain” they’ll be leaving Brooklyn within the next year.

    They’ll be missed in Bay Ridge, not only for the cupcakes and other sweet treats, but for their commitment to the community — they led weeks of Hurricane Sandy relief efforts — and their willingness to open a shop not in one of the borough’s trendiest neighborhoods, but in the place they live.

    The shop opened in 2013, but the duo was already well known for its longtime wholesale bakery business. They also ran Robicelli’s Gourmet Market in Bay Ridge from 2008 to 2009.

    Robicelli’s was regularly featured in lists of the city’s best desserts, and Allison has done countless cooking demos on networks like the Cooking Channel and VH1.

    The couple released a cookbook, Robicelli’s: a Love Story, with Cupcakes, in 2013, a self-proclaimed “recession survival story.” They wrote about the struggles of running a mom-and-pop business in Bay Ridge. It’s sad to see those hurdles couldn’t be overcome.

    Allison blamed the rising costs of living and change throughout the city for the closure, but no single event such as increased rent.

    “I can’t keep telling my kids they can be whatever they want when they grow up, then have them look at their parents working 60 to 70 hours a week to pay their bills. To have them know they’ll have to work on Wall Street to have a good life, or else work two or three jobs,” she told Brooklyn Magazine. “The city we grew up in is gone. And if it’s coming back, it won’t be in time for them.”

    Update: Allison Robicelli took to Twitter to give further explanation on the move and the shop’s remaining months:

    Robicellis Bakery Closing -- Bay Ridge Brooklyn

    Photo via Robicelli’s

    [Source: BK Magazine | Top photo: EatThisNY]

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