WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES NOVEMBER 14, 2019 23
MASPETH & MIDDLE VILLAGE: OUR NEIGHBORHOODS
Babka Bakers serves up wholesome
Polish bread and sweets in Maspeth
Babka Bakers uses about “95 percent” authentic family recipes in its Maspeth location. Photo: Angelica Acevedo/QNS
BY ANGELICA ACEVEDO
Babka Bakers, a charming Polish
bakery, opened fi ve years ago in
Maspeth — specifi cally on Dec. 13,
“It’s the last time it’ll ever be sequential
dates: 12/13/14,” its founder, Tom
Madalinski, pointed out.
The family-run bakery, located at
60-45 Maspeth Ave., prides itself on a
menu full of fresh and non-GMO ingredients
— which are mostly imported
from Poland — to provide customers
with the healthiest and tastiest experience
“I’d say 95 percent of our recipes are
either from my great-grandfather, or of
anybody else from our family that was
German and Polish,” Madalinski said.
You can fi nd all sorts of traditional
Polish and German fare at Babka’s,
including poppy seed strudels, apple
cake (or “szarlotka”), fl uff y cheesecakes
(or “krakowski”) and, of course, their
namesake, babkas, a braided bread full
of sweet fi llings.
But it’s their variety of breads that
take center stage.
Among their most popular items is
their spelt (or “chleb orkiszowy”) bread,
which is covered in sunfl ower seeds
and has great nutritional value, such as
higher protein and lower gluten count
than traditional wheat fl our.
They even added a “just seeds” bread
for those with gluten allergies or sensitivities,
which is completely fl ourless
and made up of seeds that are held
together with honey. When you have
a bite of it, it’s easy to believe it’s bread
due to its coarse consistency.
Madalinski only uses unbleached,
non-GMO fl our from Poland in his
bread, not only because it gave them the
taste and consistency they needed for
their family recipes, but also because
the simple, yet vital ingredient gives
customers a healthier food option.
“When we opened up, a lot of the
Maspeth people were saying, ‘Finally,
we’ve been getting sick of this white
bread, we want a diff erent option,’”
Madalinski said. “It warms my heart
to know that I’m able to give the next
generation a healthier product.”
Madalinski didn’t know that he’d
become a full-time baker, even though
the profession ran in his family — his
father was a pastry chef in Poland before
moving to the United States.
But aft er attending St. John’s University
and earning a master’s degree
in English, he thought he’d see what
baking on a larger scale would entail.
Luckily, his father’s friend happened
to own a bakery in Australia, where
he worked at and learned about the
“I liked it, and came back and started
looking for a space,” Madalisnki
said. “The thing that drew me in most,
especially with the bread, is that it’s a
really holistic type of career. I feel like
it’s very wholesome just to make bread
For the 29-year-old, who went to
elementary school right next door at
St. Stanislaus Kostka School, it feels
full circle to have his storefront in a
neighborhood where he spent so much
time in as a kid.
“It’s funny how things align,” he said.
Babka Bakers also specializes in
wholesales that span from Brooklyn
to Connecticut. The idea came about
“one cold night in January,” as Madalinski
remembered, aft er they ended up
getting way more loaves of bread than
“I started going around stores that
were open, I had a good ol’ reliable
Subaru, so I was zipping around in the
snow and I was like, ‘I have this bakery
and I have fresh bread,’ and they said,
‘We’ll take it,’” he said.
In the end, though, Babka Bakers
prefers quality over quantity.
“There’s a Polish saying that goes,
‘Always eat with a smaller spoon,’”
He explained that it means more than
just resisting gluttonous tendencies.
“Always be patient and eat with a
smaller spoon, and, eventually, you’ll
be full and get to where you need to
be,” he added. “So we believe in keeping
it nice and slow, keeping it more
personal, and giving more attention
to our products.”