Before moving in with my boyfriend, I lived on the second floor of a house on Huron Street with a group of amazing Norwegian roommates. I have a lot of happy memories from that time, but one of the vividest was at a dinner that two of us made together out on our large terrace in July with our guys. It was a relaxed, wine-filled night of funny stories, delicious food, and good company – the things that perfect summer nights in Brooklyn are made of. After the meal, my roommate presented a box to everyone from a Scandinavian bakery in Williamsburg called Bakeri. She lifted the lid to reveal a couple of perfect skolebrød or “school bread,” which she obtained earlier in the day during a morning pilgrimage there (Bakeri sells out of skolebrød well before noon). One bite and I was smitten – skolebrød is like a dream Danish, except instead of a cheese filling, the pastry has a heart of custard and coconut. It was like nothing I had ever eaten before.
Shortly afterward, I realized that all the bread I enjoyed that summer had come from Bakeri. The crusty, expertly damp and elastic-centered rye loaf at the same dinner? Bakeri. The complex, wholesome multigrain in the freezer, ready for toasting? Bakeri. The bread basket at Sweetwater, a Williamsburg restaurant staple? Also Bakeri (I’ve been known to eat the entire basket, should I go for a solo lunch). But I also didn’t love walking to Williamsburg every time a craving struck, as it’s quite a way from the north end of Greenpoint.
So, it’s no surprise that I was thrilled to hear about Bakeri’s second location opening on Freeman Street, one block from my apartment. And what a location it is. Owner Nina Brondmo has an eye for design, from the fresh flower arrangements artfully placed throughout the space to the hand-written title cards for each baked good in the pastry case. Elements like the black and white tiled floor, the worn tables, and the collage of framed pictures on a wall come together in a pastiche of a space that’s both bohemian and polished, with a suggestion of country charm.
And the baked goods? They’re everything the original location offers. When I came into the space in the late afternoon, the shop was very busy and the baked good selection smaller than it would have been first thing in the morning. However, there was plenty to love. The strawberry oat scones, for example.
Or a loaf of sourdough rye (the breads are among my favorite in the city).
There is a long, communal table perfect for eating your purchase on the spot – because waiting will be difficult – and plenty of coffee and espresso drinks to enjoy alongside. Sandwiches and light fare are to come, syncing up with the Wythe Avenue location’s menu.
During my visit, I missed the pastry of my affection, skolebrød; Greenpointers will have to return to chat with Nina and report back on it. In the meantime, do get to Bakeri for your bread and other baked good needs. Make sure to stop in early and you’ll have the lion’s share of choices – and there’s a good chance that you’ll leave with more than you expected.
Bakeri Greenpoint: 105 Freeman Street (btwn Franklin Street & Manhattan Avenue); open 8am-7pm, Monday-Sunday