New York City’s top pastry chefs banded together and dished out their finest treats to help rebuild DUMBO’s Sandy-shuttered Almondine Bakery.
The artisan bakers stocked the empty display cases of the Water Street shop — which remains out of commission following the October storm — with delectable tarts, chocolates, cookies, and breads for a fund-raiser on Saturday and Sunday that drew hundreds of hungry and supportive customers.
The neighborhood staple, known for its savory macaroons and scrumptious sandwiches, was inundated with nearly 10 feet of Sandy’s floodwaters, wiping out the bakery’s kitchen, which was housed in the basement.
“We got completely destroyed. There was water all the way up to the ceiling,” said owner Herve Poussot, who claims he suffered $600,000 in damage that his insurance won’t cover. “We can’t bake anything here.”
More than a dozen renowned patissiers including Francois Payard of Francois Payard Bakery in Manhattan, Jean-Claude Perennou of Cannelle Patisserie in Queens, Jean-Jacques Bernat of Provence en Boite in Carroll Gardens; and Jacque Torres of Jacque Torres Chocolate in DUMBO united on Poussot’s behalf to help his beloved business get back its feet.
And Poussot was more than appreciative.
“I am touched by this,” the pastry chef said. “This is the first time in New York that all of these pastry chefs got together to help out another one.”
Nicolas O’ Connell of La Colombe Coffee, who stocked Almondine Bakery with various blends of java, said it was a “no brainer” for him to help out.
“I came here after the disaster and I was heart broken to see what happened,” said O’Connell. “This shop is an icon, so it feels great to be apart of the reconstruction.”
Patrons formed lines that snaked out of the shop’s doors to support the cause.
“To think about this neighborhood without this place is just crazy,” said Francesa Arcilesi, who used to buy tasty treats at the bakery every day before Sandy struck. “I hope they get back on their feet soon.”
Poussot said he hopes to reopen in February.
To make a donation towards Almondine Bakery visit www.gofundme.com/save-almondine.
Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at twitter.com/souleddout.