Last year, the owner of Baker’s Treats, a Caribbean bakery that’s been on Flatbush’s Nostrand Avenue for decades, decided to pass the torch. Grandchamps, which had been working with Baker’s Treats to supply Haitian-style patties at their restaurant, realized that rather than see the place close, they would take it over space themselves.
Since its opening, Grandchamps has found a neighborhood following in Bed-Stuy, and beyond, known for Haitian dishes like its griot hash. “I’ve always seen the business as building an ecosystem, I did have ideas around opening multiple locations, as a way of achieving bigger goals,” says co-owner Sabrina Brockman.
A couple of years back, Grandchamps expanded to the Brooklyn Navy Yard but closed that location in 2021. Now, it has come time to grow once again. The restaurant has been teasing the launch of GC Bakery (short for Grandchamps), tagged in its Instagram photos.
“The patties we went with were the option that was most like what my mom made,” says Brockman of why she first started sourcing Baker’s Treats for wholesale at Grandchamps before taking over the storefront. “Haitian patties made this way are not easy to come by in New York.”
When Grandchamps, which is Brockman’s maiden name, first opened, the recipes were adaptations or influenced by her mother, prepared in a kitchen led by her husband, Shawn Brockman. In an early review in the New York Times, Brockman said, “I never cooked Haitian food...I could never be as good as my mother.”
The GC Bakery’s manager, Anthony Keith, started at Grandchamps, just a few weeks into its opening in 2015, and rose from server and cashier to, eventually, partner at the restaurant.
The bakery he now oversees almost exclusively functions as a kitchen for wholesale preparation. Like its predecessor, GC Bakery specializes in Haitian patties: “The Haitian patty is definitely the flakiest. The patty is more on the pastry side, meaning it puffs up more than the other ones do. And the flavor, to me, is more satisfying than any other version that I’ve tried,” he says. The bakery sells it in flavors like beef, chicken, cod, herring, and spinach.
Likewise, there are plenty of sweets available only by inquiry, like pineapple upside-down cakes. “We want it to be grandma-level,” says Keith of GC Bakery. There’s also sweet potato bread and kokiyol — a Haitian donut.
With GC Bakery, it's a mix of wanting “to keep what [Baker’s Treats] had that worked for them and build upon that and honor it, with some fine-tuning,” says Keith.
While 1625 Nostrand Avenue, near Tilden Avenue, in Flatbush, is now in the hands of the GC Bakery team, you might not know that yet. For now, it’s retained the old signage from its previous life and the interior remains what was — but the team says they are plotting renovations.
“The business still needs some investment,” says Brockman, but with the “tough economy it’s been running as is in the meantime.”
“Things are just getting started, slowly but surely,” says Keith. While the main hold-up to overhauling the space has been financial, it’s also in part to get to know their Flatbush neighbors better and keep them on as regulars. “We’ve been exploring ways to keep the cost of our food affordable to longtime supporters while trying to survive inflation,” says Brockman.
Baker’s Treats was the last name of the Flatbush spot that’s been around “for three or four decades,” by Keith’s estimation, though it operated with other names and a previous location across the street.
The employees of Baker’s Treats have remained with GC Bakery and the recipes are mainly the same, too.
Keith says GC Bakery supplies restaurants all around New York and New Jersey, but also as far as Delaware, Boston, and Pennsylvania. They plan to expand their wholesale beverage offerings too: drinks like sorrel and ginger tea. And they’re looking to add more wholesale clients to their roster.