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The Short Version: If you’re searching for gluten-free delights, By The Way Bakery can answer the call. The bakery specializes in creating unforgettable gluten-free, dairy-free, and kosher desserts that will make you forget your dietary restrictions. By working with these NYC bakers, couples can design the perfect cake to celebrate their nuptials or relationships without worrying about dietary limitations. The bakery has three locations in New York and one in Connecticut. Like the By the Way slogan says, the bakery sets out to “bake the world a better place,” one sweet at a time.
Wedding cakes are an integral piece of any wedding ceremony. They are not just a decorative piece to impress guests or something delicious to indulge in before the night ends. This slice of wedding cake takes part in a special moment shared between the bride and groom that couples will tell their loved ones about through the years. It becomes part of the story of their relationship.
Selecting the perfect cake can take a few test runs. And it can be even more difficult if you have to account for dietary limitations. But, with the right bakery, you won’t have to lay awake the night before the wedding wondering if your guests will be impressed.
By The Way Bakery creates fabulous desserts that are perfect for celebrating special occasions and relationship milestones. Whether you need a cake for a wedding or a cupcake for a significant other’s birthday, BTW Bakery has a wide range of desserts to fit your needs. This bakery is unique because it offers all gluten-free, dairy-free, and kosher varieties. The bakery’s inclusive dessert options helped inspire its name.
“We’re called By The Way because by the way our products happen to be gluten-free, dairy-free, and kosher. But they’re still just as good as desserts that aren’t,” said Helene Godin, Founder & CEO of By the Way Bakery.
Helene launched the small business in May 2011 in New York. She describes it as an old-fashioned bakery because the bakers make everything by hand from scratch and in small batches. Ten years after launching, the bakery operates out of a 7,200-square-foot kitchen and has four locations, including three shops in New York and one shop in Connecticut. It also landed a deal to sell its famous baked goods in 80 Whole Foods stores.
Helene’s journey to bakery owner is not your typical origin story. Before confections became her passion, Helene worked as an attorney for 22 years. After so many years of stress and burnout, she made the fateful decision to leave her legal career. In May 2010, Helene said goodbye to the legal field without an ounce of a backup plan. But then she saw an opportunity.
“It was 2010. No one was thinking about gluten-free then. I saw the market, and it was a need not being filled,” said Helene.
A year later, in May 2011, she opened By The Way Bakery and hired professional bakers to help her get the business off the ground. Although she had no experience in baking, she tackled it with a lawyer’s diligence and used her research skills to develop all the recipes. She said she worked hard to ensure that the baked goods met the dietary needs of her customers and delivered a flavor-filled bite. To this day, the bakery uses those core ingredients.
The bakery has come a long way since Helene opened her first little shop of sweets. By The Way Bakery started with one wholesale account and a tiny 400-square-foot kitchen. The small business is now the primary wedding cake provider for the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium, and its popularity continues to skyrocket.
BTW has 40 people baking in the kitchen while 40 more handle the sales across its four locations. Head baker Kathy Duma, who has plenty of experience underneath her baker’s hat, joined the team in 2015. Kathy began her career at the age of 16 at Carvel and worked with the inventor of soft-serve ice cream himself, Tom Carvel.
“Our bakers love [their jobs], and they’re so meticulous. Our office overlooks the production floor, and we marvel at the work they do,” said Helene.
BTW Bakery offers a variety of tasty treats for couples to share and celebrate their relationships. Although the desserts are gluten-free, kosher, and dairy-free, the bakery works its magic to make them taste the same as any conventionally prepared dessert. Helene said many customers have thanked her for creating bakery products that accommodate dietary restrictions.
BTW Bakery has a varied catalog of cupcakes, scones, cookies, and cakes. It has all the classic desserts that traditional bakeries would have, but everything on the menu is gluten-free. Its most popular cakes are the chocolate layer cakes and coconut cake. Helene told us she brings the coconut cake home all the time. The almond cookie is the bakery’s signature item. It’s an award-winning cookie with a crunchy exterior and a moist center.
The bakery even has some treats named after Helene’s loved ones. The Amy funfetti bundt cake, which is dipped in vanilla glaze and covered with sprinkles, is named after her best friend.
Helene also has a special connection with the newest product on the bakery’s shelves. “We recently launched a new product, Mo Mix, named after my son. Mo invented it when he was 11– he’s now 26 and surfing in Mexico,” said Helene.
The Mo Mix consists of cereal squares, pretzels, and salted caramel and is also nicknamed the “after-school snack for grownups.” It comes in three varieties: chocolate hazelnut, coconut almond, and pecan chai. The sweet and salty treat is the only product available for shipping.
Couples can find BTW Bakery’s baked goods at four store locations, and they can order online for pickup in-store. Helene said the bakers continue innovating and creating new additions for the bakery’s treats catalog to make sure they satisfy people’s sweet tooth.
“We have the agility to test products and see if they catch on and, if not, switch to something else. I’m so lucky to get to do this every day,” said Helene.
BTW Bakery has mastered the wedding cake process. The bakery team creates flavored and layered cakes to impress any palate, and Helene has reconfigured the cake tasting methods to be available for pickup. She said COVID influenced the change. The bakery switched how it conducts tastings because it helped customers try the cakes of their choice at their convenience.
“Now we do tastings to-go for $45. You pick up to six cupcakes, and it’s the same batter as our layer cakes and wedding cakes. We provide a box of six cupcakes, and they pick the layers of filling and frosting,” said Helene.
Couples can peruse the Wedding Guide and choose from spiced carrot and red velvet to traditional vanilla and chocolate for their batter. The bakery also offers various fillings, including lemon curd, latte, and cream cheese filling. The bride and groom can also select a floral design or use the cake as a blank canvas for a florist to outline. Couples looking for wedding cakes can start a discussion with the bakery through email.
Helene said that the only downside to to-go tasting is that she doesn’t meet the couples in person. But that doesn’t mean they lose all communication.
“The thing that’s so lovely are the notes we get afterward. One bride wrote ‘I was the bride, not the bride with celiac. Everyone enjoyed the cake that I could eat too.’ That’s wonderful,” said Helene.
After a year of canceled and delayed wedding celebrations, the wedding industry looks to be returning to normal. Helene said the bakery’s wedding cake schedule is filling up, and the team is already working on new design options and flavors. In December 2021, the bakery is rolling out its fresh hazelnut praline cake for the holidays.
“This year, the wedding cake business exploded. So next year, we’re looking to have 200 to 250 cakes made by hand and with love,” said Helene.