ROTTERDAM — A young French-inspired bakery will be moving from Curry Road to the Upper Union Street neighborhood in Schenectady.
Owner/baker Bri Larsen said her Whisky Business Bakery will have more space inside and be more visible outside when she reopens at 1671 Union St.
“It’s more central, it’s almost double the size and it’s right on Union Street,” she said.
The current shop at 1051 Curry Road will close in late January, Larsen said Tuesday, and it will take a couple of weeks to move the baking equipment, set it back up, stock up on supplies and schedule a Health Department inspection.
“I’m hoping to be open by Valentine’s Day,” she said.
Larsen has loved baking since childhood. In young adulthood, she studied the art and science of it through the SUNY Schenectady County Community College culinary program and at the Culinary Institute of America.
One of her first jobs was as executive pastry chef at TC Paris Bakery in Saratoga Springs, which counted among its specialties macarons — the filled-cookie treat that can be made in a vast array of flavor and color combinations.
At 30, she opened her own bakery at 1051 Curry Road, a two-person operation with her father, Bruce Larsen.
The focus is French sweets, particularly macarons. “Those are still what we’re known for and our specialty,” she said.
Opening day was Feb. 8, 2020 — about five weeks short of shutdown for many businesses in New York amid the rising pandemic.
The timing was exquisitely bad, but Whisky Business survived and did well enough that it is ready to expand as its second birthday arrives.
“We just stayed as small as we could,” Larsen said. “It’s just my dad and I that run the bakery,” so there wasn’t a large workforce to keep safe and keep paying.
Relentless social media activity and events with businesses such as Wolf Hollow Brewing built the business up, but there was also some good fortune in a difficult time.
“We’re definitely very lucky,” Larsen said. “I work very hard for it but we’re lucky, too.”
The new space on Union Street was home to the Mr. Wasabi Asian bistro before it moved to a larger location nearby.
Larsen will open with what has worked — French macarons and non-French goodies such as cupcakes and blondies.
She promised some new items come springtime but withheld the details to preserve the surprise.