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New York Cult Cookie Hit Levain Bakery Plots National Expansion

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Plus, Urbanspace strikes a deal for a new location in Union Square — and more intel

Two chocolate chip cookies — one dark, one golden brown — rest on top of one another in blue to-go sleeves
Levain’s cookies
Kate Previte/Levain Bakery

Levain inks supermarket distribution deal

NYC cookie phenomenon Levain Bakery is expanding its reach across the country. The company, known for its fist-sized cookies loaded with chocolate chips, walnuts, peanut butter, and more, has stuck a deal with Texas-based grocer Central Market to sell pre-baked, frozen cookies by the box, Bloomberg reports. The boxes come with eight two-ounce cookies — mini versions of the six-ounce stunners that Levain sells in its stores — for around $8 per box. The company is in talks to expand its grocery distribution arm with more supermarkets nationwide in the future.

Aside from the grocery expansion, Levain is also looking to add more retail locations, according to Bloomberg. Levain’s CEO tells the publication that in one to two years, “we will be national,” with potential shops in Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles, as well as adding more locations in New York. The brand is also considering international franchising opportunities.

Levain currently runs seven shops in NYC, including two stores in Williamsburg and Noho that opened earlier this year. A Washington, D.C. location — its first expansion outside of the city — is slated to open in September.

In other news

— City Council members will be meeting later this month to discuss extending the city’s emergency cap on food delivery fees. The cap, which prohibits third-party delivery services from charging restaurants more than 20 percent in fees per order, is currently set to expire in mid-September.

— Idlewild, a new coffee shop in the East Village, shuttered just two months after opening. In a letter posted to the shop’s window, ownership explains that a police precinct located on the block put up barricades on the street when protests started at the end of May, and the business never recovered from the loss in customers due to the barriers.

— Another Urbanspace food hall is opening in Manhattan. This location will be at Union Square, and will feature “interactive online ordering” as part of its offerings, according to the New York Post. It’s scheduled to open in early or mid-2021.

— Black Tap is making its monster shakes available for delivery for the first time later this month.

— Buzzy Greenpoint all-day cafe Rule of Thirds reopened for outdoor dining this week.

— Cocktail star Ivy Mix and restaurateur Danny Mena are hosting a cookbook party plus live cocktail and cooking tutorial on Zoom on September 16, in celebration of Mexican Independence Day. Tickets are $100 apiece and include signed copies of both Mix and Mena’s new cookbooks, plus a cocktail kit and a tortilla-making kit for the class.

— The bar has been set for nation’s best wear-your-mask sign:

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