After walking by Pip’s Place for the past two months, I finally stopped in to chat with owner Denise Cumming and try some of the gluten free desserts that have been staring at me through the window. With an eye catching logo, simplistic design and hot pink details, the cakery was both girly and modern. Located in New York City’s Upper East Side, Denise explained that it was the perfect location and recognized the community’s appreciation of Pip’s. “The community has been responsive and grateful,” she explained. “It’s been really great.”
Like the cakery itself, Denise was warm and welcoming. When her daughter Olivia, nicknamed Pip, was diagnosed with celiac disease at age 14, Denise worked on family recipes to make them acceptable to her new dietary restrictions. Unlike many allergies where one can substitute an ingredient or two, having a gluten allergy is an entirely new take on life. You have to worry about contamination of gluten substances in restuarants, bakeries and outside food sources. With an emotional connection to those gluten free and dairy free, Denise opened Pip’s Place as a sanctuary for them to safely enjoy homemade baking without having to worry about cross contamination.
Having a gluten allergy myself, I was extremely interested in tasting some of the baked goods. Pip’s Place’s best seller, the chocolate chip cookie, did not disappoint. Both chewy and buttery, the cookie didn’t taste like a lesser version without the gluten. Instead, it was moist and fresh.
Another favorite, the chocolate brownie, was extremely rich and fudgy. My personal favorites were the raspberry pinwheel cookie and the Heath Bar. Not being able to have a shortbread type cookie in over a year, I was amazed at the taste and quality of the pinwheel. Those who do not understand the struggles of a gluten free or dairy free child cannot understand how it feels to have something that you have had to be without because of an allergy. Denise explained the fulfillment she gets when she sees a child affected by those allergies enjoy one of her cookies. Pip’s Place isn’t just about being able to have treats, it’s about the emotional experience of “providing something that they can’t have anymore.”
Pip’s offers a wide variety of gluten free cookies, cupcakes, mini cupcakes called “Pipsqueaks” and cakes. Dairy free options are also available in a selection of cookies, muffins and a cinnamon roll option.
Both hot and iced beverages are available as well. Pip’s uses their own unique blend of coffee beans, which are roasted locally in Brooklyn, N.Y.
After speaking with Denise and sampling the desserts, I know this cakery is here to stay. With both heart and taste, Pip’s Place is a must-try on your next visit to New York City. As they say, “you’ll notice the difference from the first bite.”
Pip’s Place is a gluten free bakery in Manhattan and is dedicated to serving all those not only in NYC, but in the Tri-State area and across North America. Their wide selection is great for gifts or corporate events.
1729-31 First Avenue
New York, NY 10128