After introducing San Francisco’s viral pastry sensation — the cruffin, or a croissant baked like a muffin — Australian baker Ry Stephen has decamped to New York City and will open Supermoon Bakehouse on the Lower East Side this Saturday, October 7.
Stephen left SF and his sudden notoriety at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in a cloud of mystery, never giving a reason for the departure. Now, he and Aron Tzimas, the mastermind behind the cheeky design at Mr. Holmes, have teamed up once again to attempt to make virality strike twice.
With crazy flavors and Millennial-baiting design, it might sound like Supermoon’s just another business looking to capitalize on Instagram food culture. But the chef developed a rep in SF for slinging out pastries that went beyond visual attraction.
In a city where the Cronut already reigns supreme in the pastry world and Dominique Ansel holds the top pastry chef spot, can Stephen and his West Coast-famous cruffin compete? Here’s everything to know about Stephen, Supermoon, and the cruffin:
Stephen is a pastry chef with chops
Stephen moved to San Francisco to open Mr. Holmes via his native Melbourne, after training both there and in Paris. Beyond making an Instagram sensation that continues to sell out daily and inspire Cronut-level lines, he was also named a “Rising Star Chef” by the SF Chronicle in 2015.
Then, drama hit when Stephen's recipe book was stolen in a bizarre break-in that left everything else intact. Shortly thereafter, at the peak of the bakery's prosperity, Stephen mysteriously left Mr. Holmes for NYC.
That was nearly two-and-a-half years ago, during which time he has been searching for a space for Supermoon.
Doughnuts, croissants, and cruffins headline the menu
Like at Mr. Holmes, there will be croissants and doughnuts of various shapes and flavors on the menu, which is in full below. One example, above, includes the banana split sundae twice-baked croissant: It features caramelized sous vide bananas, banana caramel sauce, creme patissiere, and almond creme. The pastry is then topped with chocolate fudge, banana caramel, dehydrated banana, gold leaf, and torched meringue. There’s also the NYC-inspired everything-spiced croissant with lox, cream, cheese, and capers on the inside.
The opening cruffin flavor will be vanilla cream- and passionfruit curd-filled with a toasted marshmallow on top.
Supermoon features the same cheeky aesthetic as Mr. Holmes
Named for the supermoon that appeared shortly after Stephen moved to NYC (plus the crescent shape of croissants and round shape of doughnuts), Supermoon’s design has all the elements of photo-worthy: Iridescent boxes and a “Bite me, NYC” tagline and neon sign beg to be posted on Instagram, reminiscent of the design that made Mr. Holmes famous. There, the tagline is “I got baked in San Francisco,” with a neon sign proclaiming such, as well as other Instagram design bait like a tiled floor that reads, “Holmes sweet Holmes.”
“Aron’s design and stamp is extremely evident,” Stephen says. “The concept is just what we do best, which is putting forward pastry, viennoiserie, croissants, and doughnuts that we’re really proud of in a fun, playful manner.”
It’s all available this Saturday
Supermoon opens to the public on Saturday, October 7 at 8 a.m. at 120 Rivington Street at Essex Street.