The history of Bayridge Bakery:
60‘s to Early 70’s:
John Nikolopoulos works alongside top pastry chefs in Greece, his birthplace. Having worked in the top pastry shops in Greece at the time, he starts traveling around Europe to diversify his knowledge in the pastry arts and returns to Athens where his name is now starting to buzz. John gets his break in the early 1970’s when he gets an invite to come to New York and bring the European desserts to the restaurants and diners which was the craze at the time. He was overwhelmed with offers and starts working at numerous places. In 1974, instead of running from place to place, he decides, along with his wife Peggy, to open up their own bakery and supply the places he was working at.
70's Grand Opening:
The original Bay Ridge Bakery is opened by the Nikolopoulos family as a wholesale bakery. The goal: Bake fresh by day.... Deliver by night!! Instant success! The neighbors started to smell the products being baked and wanted to get their hands on anything that was coming out of the oven. The Nikolopoulos family did not close the door to the walk ins and thus begins the retail operation.
Bay Ridge Bakery products are found in almost every new restaurant and diner being opened in the NY tri-state area. There are very limited wholesale bakeries around and demand is high. The Nikolopoulos family stays loyal to the neighborhood that gave them their start and keeps their operation in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The Nikolopoulos children, Nick and Stacy, are being raised with the business values and slowly learning the ins and the outs of the business.
By now, the retail business was doing well and the name brand was out there! Bay Ridge Bakery is here to stay! Neighborhood demand and a thriving wholesale operation quickly made the Nikolopoulos family expand the Bay Ridge Bakery and opened up what at that time was the most modern and European designed pastry shop right in the heart of Bay Ridge at 7805 5th Avenue, where we are still located today. The new Bay Ridge Bakery, brought to locals some of the finest, most elegant, European and American pastries. Quotes like “ Outstanding- Unique- Unimaginable Treasures” and “ A Cornucopia of Dazzling Dessert” were not uncommon in the media. The New York palate was about to change and Bay Ridge Bakery was at the forefront.
21st Century & Today:
Bay Ridge Bakery is still owned and operated by the Nikolopoulos family and Pastry Chef Nick Nikolopoulos, the son, along with his parents, John and Peggy, has taken the bakery to new heights. Being a Bay Ridge landmark, and a “must visit” place, Bay Ridge Bakery still maintains the “baked fresh daily” motto and strives to give its guests only the best experience. It is not unusual to find guests from other states or tourists from other countries shopping for the creamy cheesecake or our world famous monster Chocolate Chip Cookies.
“We have customers who come to NYC to shop for their out of state business and home, and Bay Ridge Bakery is on top of their shopping list”, says owner and chef, Nick Nikolopoulos. “You just don’t find Brooklyn pastries anywhere else in the world!”
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Chef Nick was raised in the bakery business that was operated by his parents, both pastry chefs. Nick spent almost all of his childhood in his family bakery, learning the art of pastry, customer service, and how to run a business. Nick learned to be a pastry chef from his dad, John, who gave him the foundation needed to succeed in the Bakery business. After College, Nick attended the French Culinary Institute in NYC where he learned the science of pastry and baking. He graduated with honors as a Pastry Chef and loved his experience at the school. With his dad’s secrets, techniques and recipes passed on to him and the knowledge that he gained at FCI, Nick is among the well respected pastry chefs in NYC.
Nick remembers decorating his first cake at 12 years old for a customer. His finesse and talent for decorating was starting to show in his teenage years and he slowly began gaining the confidence needed to succeed. Nick was developing his own identity in the business. He learned under the old school European baking method where everything is made from scratch using the best ingredients possible. As he grew older and more mature in the business and customer demands changed, Nick took the “old school” methods and added the modern twists that you see him still using to this day. He often travels to conventions across the country and in Europe learning new techniques and sharing ideas. “The pastry arts are always evolving and you must be open minded to change, so that you can be at the forefront of your trade” he says.
Today, Nick is happily married with three young boys and also lives in Brooklyn. He is following his parents footsteps and strongly believes that every product that he makes has to look great and taste amazing. “You cannot sacrifice quality for looks!”, he is known to tell people. “To succeed in this business, you must be a pastry chef and an artist” Nick says. He takes pride in making all the custom cakes himself and is seen in the kitchen overseeing his employees. When it comes to his custom work, he sits with his clients and designs their dream cake. He loves putting a smile on people’s face through his cakes and pastries. He instructs his employees that everyone that walks through his doors must get treated to something sweet.
Chef's Nick promise:
Superb taste, the best and freshest ingredients, meticulous preparation, and a presentation that will delight even the most discerning of guests.