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IMG_5980*    “Hi, let me introduce myself … I am an oatmeal raisin cookie, I have been travelling 3368 miles, from New York City to Brittany, France… I come from Levain Bakery.”

*    “Levain Bakery in New York City? This place is a MUST when you visit the City! Their cookies are sooo gastronomic.”

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Yes, Levain Bakery is among the top 10 spots one should visit during a trip to the Big Apple. The bakery, Upper Westside,  was founded in 1994 by 2 friends, which at the time were totally out of the cookies business. One was in banking and the other one in fashion, these women were competitive swimmers and the Iron man was on their list of activities. These ladies finally targeted towards another passion and opened THE bakery.

IMG_6006A few years after opening, Levain Bakery has become one of the most popular place in the City, worldwide recognised by customers and several travel guides. People come from all over the world to savor and buy these delicious cookies. Due to their constantly growing fame, in addition to the one Upper Westside, there are now 2 other bakeries in Harlem and Waiscott, Long Island’s East End. In addition to these locations, Levain Bakery has a “boutique” on-line, www.levainbakery.com and ships throughout the world. It has also a Facebook page.

Oatmeal raisin cookies, dark chocolate chocolate chip, chocolate chip brioche

Oatmeal raisin cookies, dark chocolate chocolate chip, chocolate chip brioche

Everything in Levain Bakery is baked on-site, from natural ingredients, all is fresh every day. Any unsold product that day goes to help feed the hungry, that has been implemented since the beginning.

In addition to these legendary cookies, the Bakery offers other delicious products : baguettes, whole grain loaf, walnut raisin rolls…  “Yummy” is the word for all these!

Whole grain loaf, baguettes

Whole grain loaf, baguettes

Let’s go for a visit inside Levain Bakery, Upper Westside…

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Getting ready for the morning rush

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Welcome to the customers

Welcome to the customers

I am sure you may have noticed that the bakery’s name has a French word? “levain” … which is in fact a natural leavening agent traditionally consisting of flour, water and wild yeasts, better known in the USA as a sourdough starter…

Customers come from all over the world to Levain Bakery, standing in line to buy cookies is very usual… worth waiting anyway!

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There are also “special customers”… but they have to wait outside…

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“Waiting for my treat”

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“Hi, I am Homer, I come here every morning, believe me these cookies are the BEST, I have an expert eye and taste…”

If you happen to visit New York and want to savor these delicious cookies, brioches… here are the addresses where you should go, if not your trip in the City would not be complete :

* Levain Bakery, Upper Westside, 167 West 74th, New York, NY, 10023.   T: 212-874-6080, hours: Mon-Sat 8am-7pm, Sun 9am-7pm.

* Levain Harlem, 2167 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, New York, NY, 10026, T: 646-455-0952, Hours: Mon-Sat 8am-7pm, Sun 9am-7pm.

* Levain Hamptons – Wainscott, 354 Montauk Hwy, Wainscott Village Shopping Center, Wainscott, NY, 11975, T: 631-537-8570, open seasonally, call for hours.

* On line shop : www.levainbakery.com

All my sincere thanks to all at Levain Bakery, Upper Westside for their warm welcome and for allowing me to shoot inside the shop.

All the best to each of you and “see you soon”!

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