Notable baker and cookbook author Uri Scheft — who founded the bakery chain Lehamim in Israel and Breads Bakery in New York City — will reportedly open Bakey at 151 Tremont St. in Boston in August 2021, right across from Boston Common. The cafe will sell babka, a highlight from Scheft’s time at Breads, as well as burekas, breads, buns, and more. There’ll be coffee from Seattle-based Caffe Umbria, too.
“Ridiculously fresh,” promises the bakery’s nascent Instagram account, @bakeybabka. “Ridiculously soon.”
Scheft “has not had any involvement in Breads Bakery for many, many years,” a representative for Breads tells Eater, noting that the team “wish[es] him all the best.” (Trouble was afoot between Scheft and operator Gadi Peleg back in 2017, although it’s unclear exactly when Scheft’s involvement with the company ended. Bakey’s job postings refer to Scheft as the “former cofounder” of Breads.)
Although no longer involved with the company, Scheft’s time at Breads offers a peek into his major talent in the bakery game. Several of Eater Boston’s colleagues at Eater New York give high praise to his baked goods there, describing the babka in particular as “hands-down the best sweet thing available year-round in NYC” and “the best present you could ever bring to a dinner party.”
Here’s a 2016 Eater video featuring Breads Bakery’s Edan Leshnick demonstrating how to make Scheft’s Nutella babka (view the recipe here):
Beyond the babka, Eater New York critic Ryan Sutton dedicated a whole article in 2016 to the tuna sandwich at Breads Bakery, which he described as “nothing revolutionary, it’s just perfect.”
Scheft was born in Israel to Danish parents, he tells The Boston Globe. “Constantly throughout childhood, being Jewish and Danish, we loved to bake and are known for baked goods ... Home and fresh bread are deeply connected to me.” Bakey will reportedly feature a streamlined menu that reflects Scheft’s past 30 years or so of baking in Israel and elsewhere around the world. “I narrowed down my specialties,” Scheft tells the Globe, indicating that fresh products will appear throughout the day. “The oven will stay on.”
The Boston area is experiencing a bit of a boom in openings of Israeli restaurants. Fast-casual Israeli street food chain Miznon is expected to open in Boston’s Seaport District later this year, for one, while Israeli cafe chain Cafe Landwer will expand on its two Boston locations soon with a third slated for Copley Square. Meanwhile, local chef Avi Shemtov — who operates Simcha (modern Israeli) and A La Esh (Israeli-inspired Southern barbecue) in Sharon, along with several other businesses — will open a “hummuseria” called Hummus v’Hummus at the Speedway in Brighton.
Update, 1:45 p.m.: This piece has been updated with a quote from a Breads Bakery representative regarding Scheft’s non-involvement with the company.