“If you’re gonna eat a dessert, and you’re gonna eat five billion calories, you need to be all in. You need to be 100% present and remember what the hell you’re doing.”
– Allison Robicelli
Let me tell you a little bit about Robicelli’s.
It all started earlier this year when I had my first Robicelli’s cupcake. Even before I bought the cupcake, and I stood before the four flavors to be chosen from at Crespella, I knew this would be different. There were no vanilla cupcakes! No chocolate! And certainly no sprinkles! And thank goodness, because fuck that.
Cupcakes are great and all, but vanilla is vanilla and chocolate is chocolate and I’m 24 years old. I’ve had enough chocolate and vanilla, goddammit! These are cupcakes for grown-ups who want something new and interesting but still in that familiar, comforting, handheld package that is so gloriously American and nostalgic.
That’s Robicelli’s. They offer different flavors every day and they are all exceptional. Even if you come across one that you don’t like, you have to appreciate the creativity, thought, and love that goes into these complex little creations. No plain chocolate. No plain vanilla. Not even Red Velvet. There are no easy flavors, there are no artificial ingredients, and there are no cut corners. These are $12 desserts packed into $3 cupcakes.
Robicelli’s employs quality, seasonal ingredients for their cupcakes, the flavors of which change several times a week. There will be no Strawberry Rhubarb cupcake in Winter, and there will be no Sweet Potato Pie cupcake in Spring. And if you want a Mint Julep cupcake, you best plan ahead, because it only comes out once a year for the Kentucky Derby.
The constantly changing line-up of Robicelli’s flavors is hugely appealing, to me at least, and reminds me of those times when you were a little kid and just had to get to McDonald’s on a certain day because it was the only time to get the Happy Meal toy you just couldn’t live without. Robicelli’s doesn’t just provide cupcakes – they provide the exciting experience of discovering something new, something “limited-edition” and special, that has earned them fans, and not just customers.
Did I mention how pretty they are? And yes, that is a piece of fried chicken atop that cupcake.
And excuse me, what’s this???
Butterbeer cupcakes!?! As a brand new Harry Potter devotee, this nearly brought tears into my Hedwig-loving eyes. I mean, there’s gold dust on them!! Flavors aren’t just delicious and gourmet, they’re fun and interesting too, perfectly encapsulating the experience that a cupcake should provide.
But as good as a product ever was, it’s only as good as the people behind it, and I can tell you firsthand that the Robicellis are great people. Warm, welcoming, and sharply funny, Matt & Allison, both originally from Brooklyn, might even be more interesting and engaging than their baked goods.
I got to know them a little bit when I made a video to support their IndieGoGo fundraising campaign, and after spending a night with them baking in their commercial kitchen in Sunset Park, they sent me home with nearly a dozen cupcakes for my “hard work.” My “hard work” involved tasting “prototypes,” peering over the shoulders of their interns as they frosted and decorated, and soaking in their stories of life in the food industry.
They are tirelessly hard workers, devoted parents, talented chefs, and just all around awesome, cool people. If there is an off-the-beaten-path event in Brooklyn, there’s a good chance the Robicelli’s will be there. They are active within their community and supportive of other small businesses (Liddabit Sweets and The Good Batch to name a couple), bloggers (theskint.com), and customers alike, often taking to Twitter to publicize community endeavors or ask for flavor recommendations.
And, on Sunday, their storefront at DeKalb Market finally opened!
Hooray! They finally have a long-term home for their goods, which have now expanded beyond cupcakes and into the world of brownies and whoopie pies.
The Robicelli’s shop has a cute, homemade feeling, no doubt owing to some expert decorating advice coming from their young sons.
In addition to their own goods, Robicelli’s offers marshmallow treats made by Kitty Lee Thomas, which have even reformed self-proclaimed marshmallow-hater Matt.
They’ve got drinks too, including chocolate milk from Battenkill Valley.
Wow! Mexican Coke for only $2! David Chang charges $5 for it and he’s a millionaire!
While the Robicellis now have a solid home base for their goods, they will still be available at select outlets around Brooklyn, my personal favorites of which are Crespella (crepes & coffee) and Blue Apron Foods in Park Slope, for those occasions when you need that cupcake fix and can’t make it to DeKalb Market.
So, congratulations, Matt and Allison, on hard work well-done and a wonderful new shop! Now, where do I sign up for the frequent buyer’s program?
For more information on the shop straight from the Robicellis, click here.