“We’re a traditional bakery and we cater to customers whose families have lived in this neighborhood for generations,”
-Antonetta “Toni” Binanti, Owner
Since 1934, Seneca Avenue has carried the sweet smells of Rudy’s baked goods throughout Ridgewood. From German Black Forest Cake and Strudel, to new gluten free and sugar free menu items, Rudy’s Bakery and Cafe continues to please the neighborhood. The staff at SpotOn Magazine had a chance to meet with the owner Toni and Cristina, the lead pastry chef. Here is what they had to say:
SpotOn– Tell me about your dream with Rudy’s.
Toni– The bakery was already here. We just celebrated 80 years. My family bought it in 1980, and I took it over about 12 years ago. Rudy’s was the name of the Bakery, so when we came in we stayed with the name. It was well known.
Cristina– Toni has been here for 34 years and I have known her for years because this used to be my high school job. I was 17 when I worked here. I went to culinary school and then worked in Manhattan for years. They added the cafe here three years ago. I knew Ridgewood was changing and the neighborhood was growing. I walked in one day and saw how beautiful the place was. Toni only had one table here for years, no cafe.
Toni– I had the vision in the back of my head. For years I kept hearing, “We have to take the cake home to taste it you – only have one table.”
Cristina– Toni always had the dream to have a little cafe here. People would come in and get frustrated, they wanted to come in and hang out. I ended up visiting five months later (after the cafe was complete) and we started talking. I came up with ideas that after 70 years of recipes; maybe some new things should come in. I didn’t touch any of the original recipes; they are all made the same. I just added to the menu. We have an old and new atmosphere.
SpotOn– I love the atmosphere in here.
Toni– I think the rustic look just says something.
SpotOn– Do you have any signature pastries?
Cristina– I think Rudy’s as a whole has quite a few. Before I got here, they were known for a lot of things. Everyone knows Rudy’s for all of his or her specialties. Our coffee cake, Danish and butter cookies are hard to find.
Toni– Cristina brought in the oatmeal marshmallow sandwich. Who would have thought in Ridgewood you would find that, or her homemade salted caramel hot chocolate?
Cristina– The stuff that I added to the menu is stuff that we had in Manhattan. I added gluten free and vegan items. I use really good quality chocolate; I focus on seasonal item as well. We do an iced Nutella latte. Everything is from scratch. When I first got here we did a tasting, I made five desserts. People purchased tickets, came in to eat and they enjoyed their new desserts. It was a meet and greet.
“We carry gelato all year round and Seasonal Beverages like Homemade Dark Hot Chocolate in the winter and Iced Nutella Latte in the summer. We make specialty cakes for all occasions as well as Fondant Cakes.”
Rudy’s has held book signings, charity and fundraisers. If you are interested in hosting an event here, Cristina will accommodate you and help your with your needs.
905 Seneca Avenue, Ridgewood, NY 11385 Tel.: (718) 821-5890 Rudy’s Bakery & Café is open Monday – Saturday 6:00am – 8pm & Sunday 7:00am – 6:00pm
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