Monica Von Thun Calderón, Grandaisy Bakery’s owner, left, and Rosemarie Castoro schmoozed about days past on the shop’s last day on Sullivan St., June 30. Photo by Tequila Minsky
BY TEQUILA MINSKY | Early every morning, sculptor Rosemarie Castoro would buy a walnut-and-raisin roll at Grandaisy Bakery on Sullivan St. and read her New York Times — that is, when her paper wasn’t stolen from outside her door.
Her backup was always Gran Daisy’s house copy, which was amicably shared.
The longtime west Soho resident, like many other denizens of the neighborhood, found this routine a perfect way to start the day.
Not quite a cafe, Grandaisy Bakery did sell coffee, espresso and tea that customers would drink with their rolls and Grandaisy’s other offerings, in the few chairs inside or sharing the outdoor benches.
Take-outs included breakfast and lunch sandwiches on their chibatta rolls, olive rolls, pizza bianca — a flatbread — cheeseless pizzas and several varieties of breads with real taste, including the dense seven-grain or the crusty sourdough Pugliese.
Local restaurants got their daily bread at Grandaisy, and customers came from far and wide to buy bread.
However, on June 30, the shop’s doors closed for good.
Grandaisy’s short-term lease on Sullivan St. had been extended more than once as the property’s owner has been readying to develop a 15-story building there.
The shop’s owner, Monica Von Thun Calderón, who kept this location when there was a split between the partners of the old Sullivan Street Bakery, stopped by on the place’s last day to share memories — 18 years’ worth; the bakery opened in 1994. It was at this very storefront that local artisanal baking started, which “provided momentum to the nascent bread revolution in New York,” the good-bye note posted on the door stated.
The flier also directed readers: “Follow us to our new headquarters a few blocks south at 250 West Broadway on the corner of Beach Street.” It’s just a five-minute walk, across from Tribeca Park, at the intersection of Sixth Ave.
That location for the business has been around for a few years and is where the baking takes place.
Meanwhile, regarding the retail shop’s relocation, for regulars who found the simple, local camaraderie or purchase part of a daily routine, adaptation is the name of the game.