Specialty Food Magazine


Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 89 of 131

having to exchange a word." Levine says she is lucky to have such a dedicated, hardworking staff by her side. Several of her bakers have been with her for well over a decade. Setting the Pace and a Positive Mindset A team of eight fulltime bakers staff the production area, working in two shifts, 4 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to midnight. Pickups for the restaurant take place daily at 4:30 a.m. (An additional staff of nine run the retail operation and office.) Throughout the morning, the team produces an array of regu- lar items, like cheese straws (some 500 a day), as well as banana muf- fins, lowfat bran muffins with berries, and popular English muffins 1981 | Sarabeth's Kitchen opens on Amsterdam Ave. in New York City 1983 | Sarabeth's East Side opens 1986 | Sarabeth's West Side opens 1996 | Licensing begins for restaurant concept expansion 1998 | Sarabeth's Bakery opens in Chelsea Market 2000 | Jam factory opens 2005 | Sarabeth's Central Park South and Key West, Fla., locations open 2008 | Lord & Taylor stores convert restaurants to Sarabeth's 2010 | Sarabeth's Bakery From My Hands to Yours cookbook launches 2011 | Sarabeth's Tribeca opens 2012 | First inter- national location, in Tokyo, opens 2013 | Park Avenue South location opens TIMELINE Specialty Food Magazine visited Sarabeth's Bakery in Chelsea Market to witness firsthand a typical day at the bustling bakery. Skilled Leader, Team Player "Every day is different and you never know what to expect," says Levine, donned in her kitchen whites, standing over a chocolate tempering machine waiting to dip a batch of orange-apricot sand- wich cookies. "Yesterday I was doing the laundry in the back room." Levine says she prefers to wash everyone's whites herself than subject them to the harsh chemicals of a professional service. Levine is present and working at the bakery daily, typically arriving by 8:30 a.m. "If I come in later than 9 a.m. everyone asks me what's wrong or if I am OK," she jokes. Though she is the boss, Levine f loats around her production area more like a tournant, a pair of spare hands gliding through the kitchen, willingly lending assistance to others where needed. This roundsman approach has created a brand with longevity but also fosters a work environment with loyal employees like Marcelo Gonzalez, her head pastry chef who has been baking by Levine's side for more than 30 years. "Marcelo and I have an unspoken dialogue," says Levine. "It's like a dance we do. We know when to help each other without MORNING RITUAL IN A NUTSHELL Levine takes five seconds to observe the kitchen, its vibe, and who is working, and to greet the staff before heading to the office. Throughout the day, Levine says, "I go where I'm needed. I do everything from recipe testing to paperwork to laundry. If I'm not needed in the kitchen for production I'll work on recipes for my new cookbook." Sarabeth Levine works the production line Marcelo Gonzalez, head pastry chef SPRING 2014 87 SPRING 2014 87 DayInLife_Sarabeths.indd 87 3/17/14 8:25 AM

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