Former Puzzles Bakery in Schenectady reopening as new coffee bar, eatery, bookstore

Two photos: Puzzles storefront in 2016 and Novel storefront in 2023
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SCHENECTADY – The former Puzzles Bakery & Cafe, closed during the pandemic, is being “reimagined” as a coffee bar, eatery and bookstore in Schenectady.

Renamed Novel BIBLIO•BREW, owner and member of the Schenectady County Legislature Sara Mae Pratt announced online that the new business will be opening its doors in the coming weeks.

“Changing up the Puzzles Bakery & Café name and concept has been a deeply emotional, challenging, and heartfelt process,” Pratt wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday. “We’re still incorporating many elements from Puzzles that I believe our former customers will recognize and appreciate – and making some exciting improvements along the way!”

Puzzles Bakery & Cafe opened on World Autism Awareness Day in 2015. The business worked to provide gainful employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.

The bakery soon gained wide attention. In 2018, The Today Show even visited, highlighting Puzzles in a segment on the show. But then the pandemic hit in 2020 and Puzzles closed.

Novel’s website explains that Puzzles was able to provide people of all abilities the “opportunity for personal growth as well as a source of income, social interaction and a sense of purpose.” Novel BIBLIO•BREW hopes to continue that legacy as an Equal Opportunity Employer and as a community gathering space.

More 2018: The ‘Today’ Show visit to Puzzles in Schenectady, Nov. 19, 2018

Novel remains under the same ownership and will include a number of employees from the original Puzzles Bakery and Cafe team, Pratt said online.

Novel BIBLIO•BREW will offer a selection of food and beverages and a small bookstore, with a selection of gifts. The location will also offer immersive community events and experiences, according to Pratt’s post.

Novel will be located at 515 State Street in Schenectady. It will be open Thursday through Sunday.

Categories: Business, News, News, Schenectady, Schenectady County

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