How sweet it is! Leske’s reopens on Fifth Avenue

Sweet relief! Leske’s Bakery celebrates Sandy’s arrival with blackout cake contest
Workers at Leske's Bakery in Bay Ridge are bracing Hurricane Sandy with pastries.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Leske’s is back and Bay Ridge couldn’t be happier.

More than 1,000 pastry lovers flocked to Fifth Avenue on Aug. 8 to celebrate the reopening of Leske’s Bakery, a beloved Scandinavian confectionary that shut its doors last year after a five-decade romance with an adoring public.

New owners Kenny Grande, John Giglio, Steven DeSimone, and Stephen Howe kicked off the grand reopening with a ceremonial cookie breaking before throwing open its doors to a constant line of sweet-toothed Brooklynites found outside the pastry shop for most of the afternoon.

The bakery between 76th and 77th streets will sell a wide variety of breads and pastries, as well as the black-and-white cookies, Danish kringles, limpa bread, and Scandinavian favorites that made the sweet shop a neighborhood mainstay.

“There’s a thousand Italian bakeries in town,” Grande said. “The nearest place like this is in Wisconsin.”

Howe worked at Leske’s under the previous owner, who called it quits amid a squabble with his landlord.Grande, Giglio, and DeSimone said they visited the pastry shop on a weekly basis as they grew up.

The four partners have big plans for the bakery, including marketing its Nordic delights to wholesale bread customers.

They also want to creating a special Kringle Klub so loyal neighborhood customers can get discounts on their favorite pastries.

“We grew up on this stuff, and we want to keep it available to everybody,” said Grande.

Leske’s Bakery [7612 Fifth Ave. between 76th and 77th streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 680–2323, www.leskesbakery.com]. Open daily from 5 am to 8 pm.

Sweet success!: More than a year after closing its doors, Leske’s Bakery re-opened under new management — and to a huge crowd.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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