• It’s meant to be!

    B'shert often refers to one’s soulmate. For me it refers to my destiny to be a baker. My great grandmother, Sluva Meltzer, owned a bakery in the town of Horodenka; part of the Hapsburg Empire controlled by the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in the late 19th and early 20th century, currently part of Ukraine. The bakery was a bustling cornerstone of the Jewish community and Sluva baked the most delicious challah.

  • When the first World War broke out, my great grandparents fled Horodenka with their twelve children. They became refugees during that time, working in the crop fields until the war ended. Returning to Horodenka by train after the war, Leibish was shot by a stray bullet as marauders circled the train randomly spraying it with gunfire.

  • After Leibisch died, Sluva decided it was time to leave Europe to build a better life in America. The family immigrated to New York in 1920 and settled in Harlem, later moving to Brooklyn. Tragically, Sluva passed away within a few years of resettling in America. Her children started a variety of businesses but none of them were bakeries.

  • My grandmother Mollie remembered a few of Sluva’s recipes, unfortunately not the challah recipe, and she made them for me and my sister when we visited. By the time I asked her to write down her recipes she was well into her 80s. She tried to remember them as best she could but it went something like this, “A cupful of flour, a scoop of sugar, some butter, egg, mix together.“ She would just chuckle and say, “I don’t remember. You figure it out mamala.”

  • Well it has taken me years to figure it out and honestly, it’s not the exact same taste I remember. That is probably because the taste of my grandmother’s pound cake included the memory of her baking it for me in her tiny Borough Park apartment kitchen with the sound of the hustle and bustle of the Avenue outside the window and all the love she added to each loaf.


  • The idea for Sweet Seidner’s Bake Shop goes back to my freshman year in college when my roommate’s grandmother sent us cookies every week. Seeing my roommate walk through the door with a brown-paper wrapped package always brought a smile to my face. Her sharing the cookies was even better. We would stop whatever we were doing and indulge in the heavenly flavor of homemade cookies. It was a little bit of love sent from home and a wonderful break in the middle of a busy day.

  • This memory later sparked the idea for a graduation gift for my niece as she was heading off to college. Each month of her freshman year I baked and shipped her two dozen homemade cookies to share with her roommate and friends. I dubbed it the College Cookie Club. The gift was so well received that it became my standard graduation gift to all my relatives and friends. Recently, my niece shared her memories of just how special the gift was to her. The goal for Sweet Seidner’s is to help your family create those special memories, by sharing treats that show how much you care.