Robicelli’s: A Love Story With Cupcakes

Photo by Austin McAllister

Allison and Matt Robicelli used to run a gourmet market in Bay Ridge for which they baked fancy cupcakes and other treats that quickly proved wildly popular. The market closed in 2009, but the cupcake business continued, with Robicelli’s becoming an iconic New Brooklyn brand. Not that there’s anything “New Brooklyn” about the husband-and-wife bakers. “I’m born and raised in Bay Ridge, just like my parents and grandparents,” Allison tells us. “Like most lifers, we bitch about this place incessantly. Yet we’re still here, and we’ll fuck up anyone who talks shit about Bay Ridge. It’s the classic Brooklyn self-loathing relationship: we constantly talk about getting out, but I don’t think either of us knows how to function outside of here.”

The couple functioned well enough here to raise their two young boys and run the business while also writing a cookbook-memoir, Robicelli’s: A Love Story, with Cupcakes, which will be released on October 17. “I can’t wait for the book to come out, but I’m also scared to death,” Allison says. “I’ve had that feeling in my stomach you get when you’re in the first car of a roller coaster, just dangling over the first hill, knowing there’s a huge drop in front of you, but all the cars behind you aren’t ready yet.” What she’s not worried about is The End of the Cupcake and the observers who’ve argued that the dessert’s moment is over. “Cupcakes are disappearing just like donut or ice cream shops are,” she says—which is to say they’re not. “As long as people want something sweet, maybe a cup of coffee and a place to sit down and chat with a friend, they’re not going anywhere.”

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  1. Every time Robicelli comments about Bay Ridge she always says that people want to leave or get out of Bay Ridge – there’s nobody who wants to leave here. Everyone wants to live in Bay Ridge that is why the prices here skyrocketed when they went down everywhere else. Maybe she thinks it is a cute thing to say, but it sounds ridiculous.