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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Whole Earth Bakery

If you read the quote from my article on the Veggie Pride Parade, you know you will not find French chef Anthony Bourdain patronizing Whole Earth Bakery in the East Village. However, you will find a vibrant business at this historic shrine for veganism and vegetarianism, in business since 1978. This is the type of place New Yorkers have grown to expect, however it is hard to imagine a place like this, catering to such a niche clientele, existing anywhere else.
Peter Silvestri and his mother Filomena started the bakery at 70 Spring Street; in 1991 they moved to their current location at 130 St. Marks Place. There are cakes, cookies and many other confections. In addition there are soups, salads and vegetarian pizza with whole grain crust.
To be fair, I believe the degree to which many individuals like the foods there is largely a function of how important dietary concerns are. It is tough to compare the baked goods here with fine French or Italian pastries. 
Veganism and other variants on vegetarianism have reached mainstream society but Whole Earth Bakery dates back to the days of late hippiedom and countercultural movements - back to the land and natural living. 
The bakery staved off the threat of eviction in 2006 and continues to live on. If you are in the area, drop in and be you own judge :)

Note: Filomena Silvestri died in 2006 at the age of 94. She is survived by three children, five grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Anonymous said...

It sounds interesting store. I will drop there sometime.

Thanks for the story!

Cakespy said...

I love this place. I used to live nearby and they had these little vegan truffles that were so good. Mmm, memories!