Magnolia Bakery Reopens After Health Code Violations Spur Closure

By Jess Wisloski and Andrea Swalec  on February 16, 2013 1:14pm

WEST VILLAGE — A beloved, and usually crowded, West Village cupcake shop was shut down on Valentines Day after city health inspectors discovered it was in violation of at least five "critical" infractions, records show.

By Saturday evening the store, which is open until 12:30 a.m., had reopened for business and was back to bustling.

The flagship location of Magnolia Bakery, which has been credited with kicking off the last decade's cupcake craze for cranking out the fluffy, old-school confections along with others — like icebox cakes and cream pies — was cited for having "evidence of mice or live mice" taking residence in the bakery, 1010 WINS News first reported Saturday morning.

Other infractions at the Bleecker Street shop noted on the Health Department's report, filed Feb. 14, state the presence of rats, "filth flies" or food refuse that would indicate the flies, as well as "food not protected from contamination" during preparation, transportation, storage or display.

The report also said raw or prepared food was cross-contaminated, contaminated, or not discarded properly, another critical offense.

The location, which opened in 1996, was the first of the company's nine stores which now hawk the famous baked goods from L.A. to Beirut.

Last year, the company began shipping the delicious cupcakes, which gained fame with an appearance on "Sex and the City," nationwide.

The problems with vermin began only after Hurricane Sandy flooding compromised the store and mice came in, a spokeswoman for the chain said.

"We take the cleanliness of our stores very seriously and are proud that all of our New York City locations have received, and have always maintained, A ratings," said Sara Gramling, vice president of public relations, in an e-mail.

"Like many New Yorkers, we sometimes have to deal with unwanted issues," she said, adding that flood damage from Hurricane Sandy, ongoing nearby construction work, and being situated in an aging building had all contributed to the problem.

 Mice and rats' feces were found on Feb. 14, 2013 inside Magnolia Bakery, and the Health Department shut the shop down.
Mice and rats' feces were found on Feb. 14, 2013 inside Magnolia Bakery, and the Health Department shut the shop down.
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DNAinfo/Tom Liddy

She said the shop had planned to reopen at 5:30 p.m., which it did.

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