Quick Take: The Best of Brooklyn – Joyce Bakeshop

You can’t tell by looking at me but I like to eat.  There is a major caveat:  The food has to be good and the place damn near antiseptic.

I don’t want to see any flies buzzing around.  If you are handling my food, your fingernails must be clean and your garment, if you are wearing one, shouldn’t have last week’s specials on it.

And gloves… People, if you are wearing gloves, it is for my protection, not yours.  If I catch you, and I have caught you, wearing them while emptying the garbage or giving me my change just after you have slapped the bun on my burger, you can kindly keep that burger and put it… well, you know where.

And don’t get me started on dirty, sticky floors.  You don’t have all day and neither do I.

Unlike Montgomery, Alabama or So Cal, New York City doesn’t score/rank food establishments.  If you are really industrious, (And who is?), you can go online to find out how many violations your favorite eatery has. According to an insider at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the municipal department that inspects such establishments, you will be hard pressed to find one that doesn’t.  (By the way, my insider only eats at Subway.)

Most people in NYC know that the places in which they eat are far from clean. And they don’t need a video of a rat after party at KFC (or see roaches in Starbucks or a mouse doing a little shopping in the food section of Target — both of which I personally witnessed) for confirmation.  We know that our many of our meals are  served with a healthy, or shall I say, unhealthy dose of nasty.

So when I find a place that meets my stringent requirements, I become a more than loyal customer.

And I have found such place, Joyce Bakeshop, in the BK (Brooklyn, NY for the uniformed).  The atmosphere is warm, the place is clean and the food is great.


Pear Tarts and Other Treats at Joyce Bakeshop
Pear Tarts and Other Treats at Joyce Bakeshop

Imagine how delighted I was to see the workers cleaning the baseboards and the walls.  The sight of this attention to detail brought tears to this Purell-carrying germaphobe’s eyes.  

Joyce Bakeshop is as cozy as it is clean.  Mothers with toddlers in strollers co-exist with adults hunched over laptops.   You can sit at the wooden tables on chairs that remind  you of  your time at grandma’s house.  And if you like the sunlight on your face, take a seat on the benches at the window.

If you want to find out the goodies are made, you can just step to the back of the shop and peer through the large glass windows and see Joyce, yes, she is a real person, and her crew doing their thing. 

I’m not a coffee drinker but I do indulge and drink decaf.  A 12 ounce goes for $1.60 and a 16 ounce for $1.90. They serve “Brooklyn Roasted, 100 % Fair Trade Beans” Gorilla brand coffee (http://www.gorillacoffee.com). 

Drink a cup of the Gorilla, Starbucks will never taste the same again. 

The following are some of my favorite treats:

Chocolate Pecan Cloud

Spicy Hot Chocolate

Ginger Cookies


A Slice of Quiche (Weekends only)

Iced or Hot Coffee with a shot of Hazelnut

Chocolate chip Biscotti


I also ordered a chocolate cake for my birthday.  Awesome.  Rich, moist and fabulous.

Kids seem to love the cupcakes whose size is well-suited for their small mouths.

The excellent customer service I receive at Joyce Bakeshop is a welcomed change from the surly reception I get at Whole Foods on 59th Street and Columbus Circle where I spend exponentially more money.

My favorite server is Audrey who knows everyone’s name and order after one visit.  She tempts me to move beyond my comfort zone (I am a creature of habit) suggesting that I try this treat or that drink. 

My lone complaint (You know a curmudgeon like me has to have one.):  It’s cash only.  I am forced to purchase some worthless, undesired item, like pomegranate-flavored Snapple, from a local grocery store, to get the needed cash.  It’s a pain in my skinny black ass.

Truthfully, it’s just a minor inconvenience.

So if you ever in the BK, stop by Joyce Bakeshop.  You may see me there, sipping a cup of hot chocolate, eating a chocolate pecan cloud cookie, grading a stack of papers and smiling all the while.

Joyce Bakeshop   646 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, NY    11238

Mon. – Fri  7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. **Update** (NOW OPEN MONDAYS)

Sat and Sun   9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

WiFi available Mon.-Fri.

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