Monday, September 03, 2007


neighborhood green bakery. a project of the city bakery.

article source: New York Times

Mr. Rubin, the kind of ardent environmentalist who avoids cotton because its production involves pesticides, was intrigued by the idea of opening a bakery in a green building. In 1990, when he opened his first City Bakery in Union Square, he said, his was one of the first bakeries in New York City using organic flour and shunning fruit out of a can for the real thing. Today, its butter, sugar and eggs are organic.

At the end of last year, Mr. Rubin went a step further. He opened Birdbath, an ultra-organic bakery on First Avenue. The 240-square-foot shop is a diminutive laboratory for environmental design and organic food. Its walls are tinted with milk paint, a 99 percent food grade pigment. The employees wear hemp. The floor is made of cork, a renewable resource.

Mr. Rubin said the enthusiastic response to his experiment had been a pleasant surprise. “On a customer, real estate and design level, and in the environmental community — all kinds of groups have responded with a lot of vigor,” Mr. Rubin said, during a recent phone interview while he was in Los Angeles, where he opened a second City Bakery in February.

At the new bakery at Riverhouse, Mr. Rubin designed the 1,200-square-foot interior space and is selecting all of its materials, including bluestone from Ulster County and recovered barn wood. He said the construction would involve minimal use of volatile organic compounds, found in adhesives, paints and carpeting, and the materials used would either be “sustainable, biodegradable, recycled, vintage or found.”