A cupcake shop is coming to the East Village storefront that held the First Avenue Pierogi & Deli for some three decades. But before you go moaning about how New York is becoming the “Big Cupcake,” know that Sweet Generation supports a good cause.
Amy Chasan was a shy kid, “totally disengaged” from school and life, when her parents suggested she attend an arts high school outside of Boston. Ever since that helped her make friends and excel academically, she has wanted to help kids get a similar experience.
After working with the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development, Chasan, who turns 31 this Sunday, decided to take the idea of a bake sale and turn it into a full-time business, selling cupcakes at theater concession stands, markets, and food trucks around town. Now her catering business — which won “Best Cupcake” honors from the Village Voice in 2013 — is gaining a storefront in the East Village.
After launching an Indiegogo campaign in October, Chasan exceeded her goal of $25,000, raising enough for her bakery and a little more for its Youth Internship Program, which teaches workplace skills to teens and young adults. “When people kept giving after we hit our goal, it was overwhelmingly amazing,” she says.
Like her online shop, the storefront will feature a wide variety of cupcakes, cookies, and brownies, not to mention cupcake sandwiches, cookie sandwiches, and edible-image cookies and cupcakes. Among the uniquely flavored cupcakes are French lavender and lemon, orange juice, coconut lime mojito, strawberry malted milkshake, and Chasan’s favorite, the seasonal walnut and pomegranate. The new storefront will bring still more varieties when it opens in December, in time for some holiday-season treats.
Sweet Generation also offers a cupcake decorating workshop ($150 for six guests) and lets you decorate your own cupcake starting at $2. Most cupcakes are between $3 and $3.75, and most pastries are under $5.
Chasan doesn’t yet know how much of her profits will go toward arts education, but she assures us it’ll be a good amount, and that customers will be able to “get a special treat for themselves and do good at the same time.”
Sweet Generation, 130 First Ave., nr. St. Marks Pl., East Village