Sunday, August 30, 2015

Happy 10th Anniversary, Babycakes - And Happy 10th Anniversary to you, Celiac!

It's been approximately 74,239 years since I posted, and for that I apologize.  Life in New York has become unbelievably busy - it's tough maintaining a personal and a professional life!  One of my New Year's resolutions for 2015 was to kickstart this blog and begin posting again, and I've done a poor job.  Here's hoping I can pick up the pace through December 31, 2015.

Today provided the perfect beginning to my renewed commitment to posting.  It's been a perfect weekend; I spent Saturday running the loop in Central Park, followed by running down from the mid-60s on the west side of Manhattan down to Battery Park and then back up the east side towards the Williamsburg Bridge.  In total it was a fifteen mile run; I'm fairly deep into my training for the 2015 New York Marathon and am trying to keep the pace.

It's been a bit tough recently to keep myself motivated, so today I went out for a 20 mile bike ride.  I rode from my apartment in Brooklyn (that's right - I'm a Brooklyn boy now!) up to Queens and then over the Queensboro Bridge into the city and up into Central Park.  There I met up with some friends for a birthday party and lawn games (along with the mandatory rosé in a can, obviously).  After a few hours I continued on my bike ride through the Central Park loop and ultimately wound my way over to Second Avenue on the east side.

As I biked down Second Avenue I was having a major internal struggle: did I want ice cream, frozen yogurt, or a sweet?  After the fifteen mile run on Saturday and the bike rude on Sunday I knew I wanted to treat myself but didn't know quite how.  I ultimately decided to go with a sweet and continued down Second Avenue towards my long lost friend, Babycakes.  Anybody who has spent five or more minutes reading the blog knows about my obsession with Babycakes; I've been going there since 2005.  I've visited both shops in Los Angeles (and played lots of Babycakes Bingo during law school), made a stop in Orlando at their Downtown Disney location, and basically stalked Erin McKenna around the country.

When I walked into Babycakes, I saw a "Happy Birthday" banner hung up across the bakery and some party platters set out.  I hoped I wasn't crashing and asked the cashiers; they told me it was the ten year anniversary of Babycakes!  I then turned around and saw Erin in the shop and was so pleased that I had chosen to stop in for a treat.  Erin is always great to see and the smattering of free treats sweetened the deal.

Yes -  realize the top picture is from Babycakes' previous Los Angeles outpost - so sue me?!  No, don't, I'm a lawyer.
It was really nice and reminded me how much I love Babycakes and the amazing sweets they serve.  Just as importantly, it reminded me that it has been ten years since I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  I remember very clearly when I was diagnosed; it was mid-June 2005 and my family and I had just come back from a trip through southern Europe.  I devoured as much pasta as possible on that trip, as the doctor had advised me that a Celiac diagnosis was a possibility upon my return to the U.S.  A few days after my return and diagnosis, I move into dormitory housing in Boston and was stuck eating dorm food for the summer.  I lost about twenty pounds from an already thin frame; I was scared to eat for fear of getting sick.

On a visit to New York that same summer of 2005 I was introduced to Babycakes.  Walking into Babycakes was like entering paradise, particularly after the difficult summer I had living in Boston.  I still remember my eyes widening at the sight of all of the items they had: cupcakes, cookies, cakes, and my personal favorite, cookie 'wich.  While I had experimented with some of Whole Foods' gluten free options, the experience of walking into an entirely gluten free oasis was unparalleled.  I've been hooked ever since.

Over the ten years since Babycakes opened they have opened two shops in Los Angeles and an outpost in Disney World (at the request of Disney).  They have served tens of thousands of people like me who sought a place to eat treats free of gluten and animal products.  In the ten years since I first went to Babycakes I've graduated college and law school, moved back-and-forth from the east to west coasts four (4!) times, passed two state bars, and started this little blog.

Since beginning this blog I've had the opportunity to meet amazing restaurant and bakery owners, entrepreneurs looking to break into the gluten free market, and other Celiac and gluten-free people who have created amazing products, apps and apps after their diagnoses.  I've been impressed and inspired by all of the stories along the way and continue to be astounded by the growth in the gluten free market since 2005.

Visiting Babycakes on the bakery's 10th Anniversary reminded me how lucky I am to have met so many amazing people along the way.  As I restart my commitment to this blog, I have to say a big thank you to anybody reading this - to the people on Twitter, Instagram, or surfing to this page through random Google searches.  Your time reading this blog means the most to me and keeps me wanting to write.

Looking forward to meeting more incredible people along the way!

Do you love it or do you love it?
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248 Broome Street
New York, NY 10002 (Map)

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