Love, Nelly: A Colombian Bakery Is Coming to Bed-Stuy

Love, Nelly: A Colombian Bakery Is Coming to Bed-Stuy
New York style arepa with ham, egg, and cheese. Courtesy of Love, Nelly.

BED-STUY — This spring, the team behind the boozy milkshake and dessert bar in Crown Heights, Butter & Scotch, will bring a new bakery focused on Colombian and Latin American treats to the border of Bed-Stuy and East Bushwick called, Love, Nelly.

Keavy Landreth, co-owner of Butter & Scotch, had a mini-cupcake business back in 2012 when she met Allison Kave who had a pie company, and the two hit it off. Landreth yearned for her own kitchen and not a commercial shared one, so the two ended up creating a feminist cake shop and cocktail bar Butter & Scotch in early 2015. That same year, Stephanie Gallardo joined the team as a line cook, and worked her way up to the general manager position.

While the team at Butter & Scotch plotted growth and considered opening another production kitchen, in the end they decided a proper coffee shop and bakery was the way to go.

“It’s an actual chance to be a bakery, because we were always known as a bar,” Landreth told Bklyner.

The new space is inspired by Gallardo’s childhood in Colombia, the country where her mother Nelly is from, and where she spent the summers chasing after shaved ice trucks during the hot days.

Colombian style shaved ice topped with bright homemade syrups, like passion fruit, pineapple, and cherry, and drenched with sweetened condensed milk. Courtesy of Love, Nelly.

“It’s Steph’s time to shine,” Landreth added, the two will be the new bakery’s co-owners.

“Love, Nelly” is how Gallardo’s mother, the queen of care packages and love letters we are told, would always sign off, and seemed the perfect way to capture all the love and happiness that they are hoping to spread in the neighborhood.

Gallardo’s menu is brimming with nostalgia and has other treats she grew up eating in a Latinx household, like empanadas and arepas. The bakery will also have their signature cakes and cookies, with additions of tres leches cake, dulce de leche treats, alfajores cookies, and more. While they plan to recreate the shaved ice from Gallardo’s childhood, they’ll also be adding little meringues and sprinkles on top, “more sugar,” the co-owners chuckle.

Full cakes at the shop will start at $45 for a 6 inch, and up to $78 for 10 inch and it serves 25 people. Cookies are $3, brownies $4, mini cookies for a buck, “we want to keep it affordable,” Landreth said. When asked about the new area for the bakery, she added, “I don’t know if there’s any area not ready for a bakery: everyone loves treats, everyone celebrates their birthday, and everyone will be able to enjoy after school alfajores or shaved ice.”

Nelly Quiroz and baby Stephanie Gallardo. Courtesy of Love, Nelly.

The new storefront is small, seating seven or so, and offering standing space at the window. The two took out a loan for the build-out and will be launching a kickstarter tomorrow to help the business. While still in the process of preparing the space, the café was inspired by Cartagena, “very beachy, coastal, summertime vibes,” Gallardo said, excited about the build-out. They hope to open by the end of March.

“We’re stoked to offer same-day cakes and people coming in during the day,” Landreth told us about transitioning from a bar to a bakery, “this is very exciting to finally focus on coffee and baked goods and expand that side, it feels super natural, like a natural transition, for the both of us.”

Gallardo laughed, “I would be way more scared to open another bar, I just want to get back into the kitchen.”

You can find Love, Nelly in Bed-Stuy at 53 Rockaway Avenue this spring. They plan to be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Stay tuned for more details.