EAST VILLAGE — Two years ago, Amy Chasan quit her day job to start Sweet Generation bakery, where she combined her love of baking with her passion to help young people by donating proceeds from the sale of her treats to arts programs for local kids.
Now, Chasan is in the final days of a $25,000 crowdfunding campaign to open the bakery’s first brick-and-mortar location at 130 First Ave. next month.
“I started to build this model of a community bake sale on steroids, where we partner with local arts organizations and local schools and donate a portion of our proceeds to their organization,” said Chasan, who estimates she has donated more than $20,000 in products, services and cash to arts education and youth programs.
The bakery, which currently fulfills online orders out of a commercial kitchen in the Upper East Side, gives both cash and in-kind donations for fundraisers, she said.
As of Wednesday, Chasan had raised more than $17,000 towards her Indiegogo campaign — which asks donors to help pay for the storefront’s build-out, equipment and utilities, she said. She has until Nov. 7 to make her goal.
“We’ve signed the lease. It’s happening,” she said, adding that she won’t collect the money if she doesn’t make her goal, but will move forward with plans to open the bakery regardless.
The bakery will sell cupcakes, cookies, pies and cakes, Chasan said, as well as coffee and breakfast pastries like croissants, muffins and brioches.
She has already drawn praise for her pastries — especially her cupcakes.
The Village Voice called Sweet Generation's cupcakes the best in New York last year, and described its flavors — like strawberry malted milkshake and lavender lemon — as “sexy” and “creative.”
The bake shop has also made brownies, cookies and other sweet treats for corporate clients like Madison Square Garden and Twitter, Chasan said.
Like many other up-and-coming businesses, Sweet Generation aims to be philanthropic while making a profit.
The new store will feature cupcakes with a percentage of each sale donated to support specific arts groups, Chasan said. Information about the group will be posted nearby so customers can learn more about each organization, she said
So far, Sweet Generation has helped support Theater for a New Audience, Children's Museum of the Arts, and the New Voices Charter School, she said.
The bakery has also teamed up with the Cypress Hill Local Development Corporation to provide internships for young adults in the bakery. The new storefront will allow the Sweet Generation to take on more interns and give kids real-world work experiences, Chasan said.
And the bakery will also use it walls and gate to feature work by young artists, she said.
“This store is what I dreamed Sweet Generation would be one day. I am ecstatic to bring this vision to life."