Following the closures of multiple high-profile bakeries in New York City in 2019, there was a gap left in the city’s iconic baking scene. Enter a new bakery looking to evoke warm feelings in the form of its baked goods and cozy setting.
Red Gate Bakery officially opened on Dec. 19, providing a delicious oasis in the heart of Manhattan. The bakery prides itself on nostalgia, as well as premium ingredients and delectable flavors.
Helmed by Greg Rales (formerly of New York City’s Flour Shop), Red Gate Bakery is named after the idyllic Nantucket farm where he spent summers growing up and is inspired by his fond memories baking in his swim trunks on warm afternoons there.
The bakery initially started as a simple wholesale business headquartered in his home, but quickly gained a cult following. After outgrowing his kitchen, Rales found a new home for Red Gate Bakery in the vibrant East Village.
Rales hopes that his bakery can fill the void left by the high-profile closures in the city.
“Red Gate is rooted in updated classics, so we hope to serve goodies that can please many different palates, and hope to do so for a long time,” he says.
To help do that, he brought on his longtime college friend as his director of operations, Patricia Howard (formerly of The Beatrice Inn), who handles everything from sourcing to logistics to interacting with customers. They met at Columbia, where both received degrees in Creative Writing. The two have used their creative experience to market the new bakery in a way that stands out from the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple.
Red Gate Bakery’s store design comes from Eva Jensen of Eva Jensen Design, with elegant simplicity in mind. The ultimate goal is to channel a feeling of safety, warmth, and nostalgia. Distressed wood and classic white subway tiles with red accents conjure the clean, relaxed aesthetic of Red Gate Farm. The shop boasts a glass pastry counter showcasing its tantalizing goodies, as well as a window into the kitchen, where guests can observe Greg Rales and his team decorating pastries and cakes.
These pastries and cakes are inspired by the baked goods of Rales’ childhood, reimagined with unique and unexpected ingredients. The menu, ranging from cookies to loaves to celebration cakes, is able to walk the line between familiar and sophisticated.
“This ethos is reflected in all of our baked goods at Red Gate – from our homemade cookies to our celebration cakes,” says Rales. “One example would be our Oreos, which we craft as all-butter cookies with true black cocoa, which gives them that unique flavor and color. Our other reimagined classics include our Caramelized White Chocolate Stoutcake, which pairs nutty caramelized white chocolate with earthy stout, or our Toasted Coconut Banana Bacon cake, which was born out of a Sunday cooking adventure during which cake scraps and bacon bits came together as one.”
Additional signature creations include Brown Butter Blondies (extra buttery with toasted pecans), Cannibal Cookies (caramelized sugar cookies packed with house-made Oreos), White Chocolate Grapefruit Cookies (studded with zesty grapefruit and white chocolate chunks), and Midnight Banana Bread (black cocoa and bittersweet chocolate in warm banana bread).
The bakery’s first month of business was hectic but rewarding for Rales and his team.
“The first month has been the best kind of crazy – it’s been incredible and humbling to be able to get to know and serve our neighborhood. We’re looking forward to growing our audience beyond the East Village and expanding our menu in the coming months,” says Rales. “But it’s been wonderful just being able to put smiles on people’s faces when they bite into one of our cookies.”