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Magnolia Bakery brings sweet taste to Boston (and it’s kosher!)

Special to the Journal

Inside Faneuil Hall, Magnolia Bakery awaits.

MAY 24, 2018 , BOSTON – How about some Boston cream pie banana pudding, with layers of vanilla pudding, vanilla wafers, bananas, and decadent chocolate fudge? It’s even kosher.

You can also choose from handmade treats such as cupcakes, cookies, cheesecakes, customized cakes, pies, and icebox desserts at Magnolia Bakery Boston, which opened its first New England location on March 29 by the entrance to Quincy Market in Faneuil Hall.

The lines were long.

If you’ve heard of Magnolia but are not quite certain where, it could be the cameos in “Sex and the City,” “Saturday Night Live,” or the film “The Devil Wears Prada.”

According to chief baking officer Bobbie Lloyd, there are six locations in Manhattan, one in Chicago, and one in Los Angeles. Owned by Steve and Tyra Abrams, the chain began in 1996 on Bleecker Street in New York’s West Village.

“With the iconic nature of the Magnolia Bakery brand, we are excited to have found a partner in the historic Faneuil Hall … to serve both Bostonians and visitors to the city,” said Steve Abrams in a statement.
“Every store does their own baking,” Lloyd explained at the opening party in Boston atop the Market’s rotunda, where lucky invitees tried whoopie pies, cheesecake tarts, cupcakes, and the famed banana cream. (We tasted and said “wow” to the server, who responded, “That’s what everybody says: ‘wow.’”)

According to publicist Chris Haynes, there are locations in Honolulu, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait City, Doha, Mexico City, Amman, Riyadh, and Seoul.

“Magnolia Bakery is a well-recognized brand, and we believe Bostonians will really enjoy what they have to offer,” said Joe O’Malley, general manager of Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

Lloyd studied with French chef Madeleine Kamman at her Modern Gourmet school in Boston. “I lived in Boston for six years, and operated a restaurant called American Accent in Brookline Village from 1984 to 1987,” she said.

But quite the gig awaited her in New York, where she moved in 1987 to become Calvin Klein’s private chef. Lloyd has been a judge on “Next Great Baker” and “Cupcake Wars,” and has appeared regularly on “The Today Show.”

Rabbi Yaakov Spivak of the United Kosher Supervision in Monsey, N.Y., will be handling kashrut inspections for the Boston Magnolia’s dairy bakery.
“Everything we buy – the flour, the eggs, the butter – is inherently kosher,” said Lloyd.

Lloyd isn’t Jewish, but did a little kvelling about her son, a student at Ithaca College. “He recently told me that all his friends are Jewish, he’s gone to many bar and bat mitzvahs, really loves the Jewish life, and is thinking about converting,” she said. She suggested that he speak with a rabbi.

So how did the appearance in “Sex in the City” (Season 3, 2000) happen? “I believe Sarah Jessica Parker liked Magnolia’s, so the location scout put it into an episode,” Lloyd recalled. “The scene was less than one minute, but it took them all day.”

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