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Carrot Top Pastries Closed Indefinitely After DOH Shutdown, Owner Says

By Nigel Chiwaya | March 18, 2013 4:13pm | Updated on March 18, 2013 7:04pm

INWOOD — The owner of an Inwood bakery shut down by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said Monday she was unsure when the store will be able to reopen.

Carrot Top Pastries owner Renee Mancino said her store would need more than $6,000 in repairs to bring the long-time Inwood bakery up to city standards.

The store, which was previously under the jurisdiction of the state Department of Agriculture, was notified in December that it would be have to be licensed by the DOH.

"For 35 years I've been following the rules of the state," Mancino, 64, said. "But the city rules are so extremely different that I don't know when I'm going to open again."

Carrot Top was shut down by the DOH after the bakery, which ships cakes to caterers and prisons, racked up more than 100 violation points during an inspection Thursday morning. Violations included evidence of mice, inadequate hand-washing facilities, and lack of Food Protection Certificates by employees.

Mancino estimated that she spent $5,000 repairing leaks and plumbing over the weekend, but said she was told Monday that the changes were not adequate enough for a second inspection. Some of the repairs needed include reconstructing the sink area's plumbing and the installation of a new, hand-washing sink, Mancino said.

Since the shutdown, Mancino said representatives from the Mayor's Office for Small Business have contacted her. The department could not immediately be reached for comment.

Several customers have made visits down to Carrot's Top's West 165th Street location to express sympathy.

"Some of my customers from uptown came downtown and said, 'Oh, we're so sorry,'" Mancino said.