EAST WILLIAMSBURG — A fashion buyer turned pastry chef who's been baking cakes, pies and brownies behind closed doors for private clients for four years, finally has a storefront of her own.
Williamsburg resident Amy Berger opened Luckybird Bakery on Feb. 5 at 163 Montrose Ave. where she sells her signature "naked" cakes, pies, cake by the slice, pastries and coffee.
"Naked Cakes," as Berger describes them, are when "the icing is sort of scraped away," or "iced and then un-iced."
They come in flavors ranging from rosewater to Meyer lemon and are garnished with fresh flowers, raspberries and crushed pistachios.
The attention to detail and creative flair that Berger brings to cake making, comes from a decade working in the fashion industry, she said.
But as a buyer, running a small show room and as a creative director for several boutique brands, Berger said she found herself retreating into the kitchen each night as a way to work out stress from the day.
"I loved the solitude," said Berger, who'd been baking since she was a little girl.
While still working her day job, Berger spent a year fine tuning the perfect brownie recipe - a moist, fudgy creation riddled with chocolate chunks. Then she moved up to cakes and pies.
Soon a light bulb went off in her head, she said.
"It was the realization that I could actually make money doing this," she said. "That it doesn't have to be a hobby."
For the last four years Berger has run a small baking studio where she would make cakes to order. Her new storefront comes after much goading from clients who wanted to be able to pop in for just a slice of cake, she said.
At the end of March, Berger plans to have baking classes up and running for kids and adults and when the warmer months arrive they'll extend their hours until 9 p.m. to catch an after-dinner, dessert crowd.
Having a group of dedicated clients nearby who support her business and trust her judgment helps, she said. Sometimes clients just ask her to make whatever cake best fits an occasion.
They tell her, "Make me what you love," Berger said.
Cakes run from $10 to $45, with slices starting at $5. For hours of operation, visit Luckybird's website.