Levain Bakery, famous for their thick and gooey cookies that inspire blocks-long lines, is opening its first Brooklyn location. The new store has been in the works for over a year, and will open in Williamsburg this Wednesday. Cofounders Pam Weeks and Connie McDonald are excited to join a community that they’ve both long loved.
“We were almost finished with construction when COVID hit, so that really slowed us down. We’re very excited to finally have the construction restrictions lifted and be able to get things finished and get going there,” Weekes told us.
For now, the shop will be open only for pick-up, with delivery starting next week through Caviar. There are stickers enforcing six-foot distance, but Weekes and McDonald aren’t worried about their guests following the rules.
“I think that our customers, just like every other New Yorker, have been really good at maintaining social distance and not crowding. We don’t really anticipate any problems,” Weekes said.
Both women say that the neighborhood has been sharing their excitement as they walk past the upcoming space.
“I think that things are falling in place. Obviously it’s not going to be our typical bakery opening, with a lot of big parties,” McDonald said. “ I would say for the most part it’s been fairly calm, and people are very excited walking past the stores.”
Customers have been leaving notes outside of the bakery’s locations, as well as sharing their love on social media.
Levain Williamsburg will be donating all of their day-one profits to Brooklyn Angels, a local charity that fights food insecurity.
“We try to do things locally within the communities that we’re in. Even 25 years ago when we first opened [our] 74th street [location], we always donated all of our leftover products at the day’s end. Although ideally, you don’t want to have a lot left over, you always do want to have enough to do that donation. We do that with all of our locations— work with local organizations and try to benefit the communities that we’re in,” Weekes said.
Williamsburg shop will, like 74th street did when it first opened, have wood furniture. A mural, as in all of their locations, hand painted by former Brooklyn resident Libby Vander Ploeg and depicting various scenes around Williamsburg— with, of course, cookies sprinkled in.
Both Weekes and McDonald have ties to the borough and are looking forward to getting back – McDonald lived in Brooklyn for several years, and Weekes’ family is from the borough.
“We both love Brooklyn,” McDonald said. “It’s such a great area. It reminds me of what New York was back in the ‘80s, all the artists and architecture. It just has such a great vibrant feeling, and it just seemed like a natural place for the bakery.”