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Meet Librae Bakery's Becca Newman: Came For the Opening, Stayed For the Flavors

Naomi Banks | 08 May, 2024

            Meet Librae Bakery's Becca Newman: Came For the Opening, Stayed For the Flavors

On a sunny Monday morning at Cooper Triangle in April, Becca Newman basked in the sun, celebrating a short break from her busy day as the Culinary and Operations Director of Librae Bakery. As a native New Yorker, her journey into the world of pastries spans over a decade. Originally, Newman was hired to consult and help open Librae. This OG was helped with the Research and Development of the first menu. In our conversation, she painted a vivid picture of Librae as not just a bakery, but a sanctuary of warmth and inclusion. Drawing inspiration from her mother and grandmother's legacy of hard work and dedication, Newman spoke passionately about infusing each creation with a sprinkle of nostalgia and a dash of innovation.

Her responses have been edited for length and clarity. Check out the short video clip from the interview on Instagram and TikTok by clicking the hyperlinks.

In celebration of Mother’s Day, we are donating 100% of the proceeds of the signed print to benefit the Brooklyn Community Services’ Transitional Living Community women's shelter. Purchase the only print signed by the owner to support a worthy cause here.

What’s it like to work at Librae?

Newman: We've created an environment intentionally and I think we've done a good job of making it a place that everybody is welcome to both work at and come to. I hope people are learning here. I think people are excited about the flavors that we're using and I hope they’re happy when they come into work. I'm really proud of both the kitchen culture and the environment in general, for both customers and employees, that we've created at Librae.

I hope when they come in, everyone's saying hello to them. That's the first thing I tell people in the front, make sure that you make eye contact. It feels really cool that people wait online. That's something that we never could have expected. I appreciate it so much that people stand and wait. So when they come in, I hope they feel like we're happy to see them.

We have regulars that come back. To me, that’s the biggest compliment, that people want to keep coming. I hope they feel like we know their drink orders, like we know their names. You know, the East Village is a community. We have a lot of students and they come back often. I'm really excited that they want to keep coming in. I hope we create an environment of community.

We change our flavors a lot. We always have the Signature Librae Things. The customers will always tell you what they like. So when we find something that people want to keep coming back for, we keep it. But we really try to change stuff seasonally. It's exciting to see people come back and try something new.

So we're doing a Rhubarb and Chamomile Scone. Rhubarb is always the very first thing that you'll get for spring in this area. So, as soon as you start seeing rhubarb, you know, the weather is gonna change. It's really tasty, not too sweet, pink, it's pretty. A lot of things in the winter are very brown, which is delicious. But the second you start to see color, it's pretty exciting.


How have your mother and grandmother influenced how you work?

Newman: I come from a family of people that work. There are a lot of educators in my family – teachers, principals. My mom is a psychologist for kids and my grandma was a teacher for almost 35 years in the city – and she still cooks. She doesn't work anymore, but as I was growing up, I was always surrounded by women who were going to work and who were really proud of the work they were doing. That's always been really important to me – to do something that I'm proud to share with people. My mom still works and still loves what she does. I think that's pretty cool.

How do you foster a unique experience that carries on the cycle of joy for Librae’s customers?

Newman: Flavors are really important to us at Librae. Introducing new things that maybe people haven't seen before, getting to teach those people about flavors (from maybe where I’m from or maybe where Dona came from or maybe both), and watching people try something new is inherently very exciting. They keep coming back, which is the biggest compliment that we could ever have. And we keep getting new people who come in and then get to learn something new.

Doing something different that maybe not everyone has made or tasted before keeps it interesting for us, the people who come to work every day. No one wants to do the same thing, all day long, every day, forever. To taste new things, to make new things, I think, is why people want to come back.



Librae Bakery is located at 35 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003 and is currently open on Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Click for more information on the signed print of Librae Bakery for BCS.