It was a tough experience closing the Little Buddy Biscuit Company retail bakery last year on December 31st. My wife Jill and I had worked non-stop for almost 2 years and spent way more money than I'd ever imagine to open the store and try to keep it going during the rough start. Between the bad economy, a location that turned out to be not quite as busy as we had hoped and extreme weather in both winter and summer we couldn't hold on despite great reviews and a number of loyal customers who loved us. As I was packing up and moving our belongings during the cold and snowy weeks of early January I thought that I would give up on a journey that lasted more than 8 years.
In 1992 I decided to change careers and go to culinary school, The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health. Once I made that decision I worked as hard as I could to learn as much as possible about being a chef. While in school I did double the internship requirements and landed a job before graduation. One job later and less than a year after Jack was born Jill and I decided I would leave work and stay home with Jack. It was great being with Jack the first few years and I wound up starting Little Buddy Biscuit Company, kind of by accident actually, while taking care of Jack. My focus since has been entirely on two things: being a dad and learning my craft.
We built a cult following for our cookies, making them in a spare kitchen in our home, and selling them to cafes in Brooklyn and via the mail. Once Jack was in school we decided to expand the business, created a business plan and searched for space. Finally we opened our own bakery in August of 2009. Fast forward to late December of 2010 and after the word got out that we were closing, the owners of one the cafe's we sold wholesale to called me and asked if I'd be willing to talk to them about business. I was really touched that they thought that much of what I was doing to reach out to me at a tough time in my professional and personal life.
After a number of meetings and months of planning setting up a new kitchen and moving my stuff again, Little Buddy Biscuit Company has found a new home at Root Hill Cafe (262 4th Avenue at Carroll Street, Gowanus). I will be making the best of the baked goods I was making at the bakery plus some lunch/dinner items. Root Hill already put in a kitchen work space in the basement and there are plans for renovation of the cafe space in the near future to accommodate the expanded menu we are planning.
This was a good week to start up again as it is Root Hills 3rd anniversary, so there is double cause for celebration. I have already started integrating Little Buddy product with the Root Hill menu this week, making cookies, biscuits, brownies, Mac n Cheese, walnut coffee cakes, savory muffins and will continue to add to the selections as we move forward. I am excited about this new chapter for Little Buddy Biscuit Company and working with Maria, Michelle Andrew and the staff at Root Hill. I hope our customers from the South Slope and elsewhere will venture to Root Hill for LBBC treats.