Owner, Bakery on Bergen
Jun 16, 2022
Baking is a scientific act, one of measurement and precision. It’s mathematical at its core. Which is what made Akim Vann, a life coach and a math tutor, the perfect person to open the cozy-chic Bakery on Bergen in Prospect Heights — a business she founded, she says, before she even knew how to bake.
Vann, a mother of four, says her fierce drive connects directly back to her parents. Her mother, who is Chinese, was a math teacher, and her late father was producer and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Teddy Vann (who cowrote “The Power of Love” by Luther Vandross and released the 1973 classic “Santa Claus is a Black Man,” featuring a 5-year-old Vann singing alongside her father). “He was an entrepreneur who worked from home, so I grew up with the notion of being autonomous,” she told Black-Owned Brooklyn in 2020.
Vann creates deliciously sweet baked goods like chocolate sablé (“a cousin to the brownie”), push pops and banana nutella cupcakes alongside savory treats including chicken empanadas, veggie dumplings and Asian guacamole with chips. “I don’t use a lot of junk,” she told Thrillist. “In Chinese cooking and the way that I grew up, we had very simple, high-quality ingredients. There weren’t hundreds of things in the pot.”
Although not all of her treats necessarily call out to her Chinese heritage, the bakery’s decor does: The red door welcoming patrons symbolizes good luck in the Asian culture.