Ride a Bike & Get the World’s Best Cookie Half-Price


While we’re seeking great streets, we’ve found an exemplary store in Manhattan’s Build a Green Bakery. This tiny East Village shop sells organic pastries, coffee and tea in an all-sustainable setting. The owner, City Bakery’s Maury Rubin, made the space an environmentalists’ showroom. He chose walls of wheat and sunflower husks and colored them with a milk-based paint. His floor is cork and his tabletop is responsibly-harvested bamboo, with recycled denim under the display counter. And get this: If you transport yourself to the store by bicycle, you get a 50% discount.

Discounts based on mode of transportation: Adorable quirk or serious public policy model? 

Bottom line: There is no better chocolate chip cookie in Manhattan and you’ll need the bicycle to burn off the calories. Build a Green Bakery, 223 First Avenue, Manhattan, (no phone), birdbath@thecitybakery.com.

  • d

    They make great cookies and they love cyclists. If only more businesses rewarded common sense transportation solutions in such a delicious way!

  • ddartley

    I’m proud to be a close neighbor of theirs. Now I just wish they would make brownies.
    (Yes, their other stuff is great (and organic!)!

  • So if we can start an add-brownies movement, let’s see how Build a Green Bakery responds.

  • Elizabeth

    Yum and hooray!

    Do they make vegan items (maybe vegan brownies), as well? That would get a whole ‘nother bikey (and even non-bikey) crowd in the door.

  • Clarence

    Geez, if I can find time in my crazy busy schedule I would love to do a NYCSR piece on them or for bikeTV (or both!)

  • ddartley

    To stay off-topic as I’ve been doing lately, no, Elizabeth, I don’t think they have much vegan stuff—which to me is good news! It’s so hard to find healthy sweet stuff that’s not also “gluten-free” “wheat-free” “dairy-free” (and often, in my opinion, “reduced-pleasure.”)

    How about full-fat, full-flavor, but all organic?! Why has it been sacrilegious for over ten years to combine those ideas? Bring on the butter and eggs, just hold the pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics! Oh, and fewer cars, more bikes.

  • I love it!

  • keri

    Yes, this is a seriously good economic development policy idea-rewarding those who arrive by bike (or foot or transit instead of the typical situtation of non-drivers subsidizing drivers with “free” parking that really isn’t free just shielded in higher priced goods.) Check out my favorite North American project in teh City of Toronto “MOving the Economy” which is focused on using the sustainable transport sector to lure investment, create jobs, etc…I think NYC could/should do something similar!

  • cass

    Elizabeth, they do have vegan cookies, I think they just started carrying them recently.

    Ddartlery, vegan doesn’t necessarily mean gluten or wheat free and certainly doesn’t mean taste-free. It means CRUELTY free. It also means less environmental pollution from the factory farming industry, which is something that all environmentally conscious cyclists should be concerned with.

  • Mitch

    Does the bakery use Fair Trade chocolate in its cookies?

  • With regard to Fair Trade chocolate, I’d bet you’d find it at Build a Green Bakery. But you’d have to ask them. While we’re surveying the progressive/yummy nexus of the East Village, bear in mind that Porto Rico Coffee and Tea, a few blocks south on St. Mark’s, now sells a pound of Fair Trade, bird-friendly, shade-grown beans for only $6.

  • Clarence

    Ddartlery, I found your comment insensitive. Just because you seem to be able to eat every kind of food, not everyone can. Next time think, what is wrong with asking?

  • Elizabeth

    Continuing the off-topicness:

    I didn’t find ddartley’s comment insensitive–ddartely was answering my question and expressing an opinion. I do understand the desire for everyone to have their wishes for sustainable food fulfilled. That includes folks who want full fat organic yumminess in their baked goods and those who want vegan yumminess, too. Because really, any kind of “alternative” baked good (organic or cruelty free or wheat free, etc.) can be difficult to find. Seems we may have found some versions of it here.

    If Build a Green Bakery can economically meet many people’s food desires, more power to ’em. It is our tastebuds and their business that will benefit! And all this while encouraging cycling is even better.

    And thanks, cass, for the excellent vegan cookie update. Just one selection of vegan cookie is really all I need. I look forward to biking to Build a Green Bakery very soon.


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