- Photo Peter Hobbs/NonaBrooklyn
Allison Robicelli is not one to sit idle for long.
Currently suffering from a bulging disc in her back and a fractured coccyx after being hit by a car a month ago, four blocks from her house, the social media and baked goods maven was sentenced to bed rest for at least six weeks. Of course, for the ever-industrious Robicelli, that hasn’t meant listless days filled with takeout and back-to-back episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race — or at least not exclusively. She’s also organizing a grassroots, guerilla-style Hurricane Sandy relief effort, organized with husband Matt from their own basement apartment in Bay Ridge. Allison took a break from overseeing mass production of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to speak with us.
Brooklyn Magazine: I know that cupcakes are the last thing on your mind, but how did the storm affect your business? Isn’t the Robicelli’s production facility (Industry City) in Zone A?
Allison Robicelli: We lost power for a week, the gas main cracked, and the air was pretty dangerous down there so we weren’t allowed in. Before the storm we had laid out a small fortune for inventory to set up our newest client, Madison Square Garden. We lost a lot of it when the power failed. Between that and losing a week’s receipts, we’re in some trouble, but we’re going to work really hard to get out of it. Our employees know they’re going to get paid a little late on some stuff as we play catch-up, we’re going to take a little less home for a while. We’re doing business in a changed city from now on.
We’ve been doing this for four years now, and there’s not a single easy thing about being an entrepreneur. I always tell people, “If you like to bake, then go work at a bakery. If you like finding the solutions to 10 million problems, then OWN a bakery.” Matt and I are experts in disasters and crisis management. We’ll find a way out of this.