“One of my favorite things is coming in early in the morning when its still pretty dark outside. You come in and generally there’s always really loud music playing and its usually one person in the kitchen and one person in here (the cafe), and both of those people are always so focused but they have so much energy already. I love feeling those tiny bits of energy, when the music is on, and it’s so invigorating. It’s just this feeling of starting the day. It’s a moment of solitude that you really appreciate."
- Erin Patinkin, Ovenly
Ovenly, the Greenpoint bakery and cafe known for both it’s decadent pastries and savory bar snacks, began out of a happy accident. Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin, who at the time had no formal culinary training and came from careers as far away from food as you could possibly imagine, met at a Brooklyn food-centric book club. Their love of food brought them together, and quickly they decided to build a culinary business. When it started, they had no idea what it would be or where it would go, but they knew they had a name - Ovenly.
What began as a way to supply a friend’s bar - the now defunct Veronica People’s Club in Greenpoint - with creative treats led to backbreaking hours hand delivering pastries to local coffee shops, followed by their first store front cafe and debut recipe book (their “baby” and “second baby”, says Erin). Once the two realized that coffee shops all over New York were serving amazing local coffee, but seriously lacked in the pastry department, their business exploded. Cafes all over the city wanted to sell their Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pistachio Cardamom Cupcakes, and more.
Their story serves as an inspiration for the untrained, the passionate, and the inspired. If you love something, you’ll find a way to do it. According to Agatha and Erin, they are still “figuring things out along the way” but to us, they have settled in and become part of the fabric of Brooklyn’s growing culinary scene.
- words by Seth Kallen