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Pie in the sky! Baker needs to make 1,600 tarts to save her business

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A Fort Greene Baker is waging a last-ditch, 1,600-pie battle to save her storefront after the city repeatedly shut her down for health violations.

Adrienne Braxton, whose Vanderbilt Avenue bakery, Krumbs, was shut down amid a raft of violations earlier this year, promises to bake — and, more important, sell – 1,600 pies by Thanksgiving to raise the funds needed to reopen and bake happily every-after.

“The problem isn’t baking the pies,” said Braxton. “I know [1,600] sounds like a lot of pies, but that’s not an issue. It’s getting people to place orders — that’s a problem.”

The last-ditch effort, which began a week ago, has resulted so far in only 300 orders, leaving Braxton with 1,300 to go with just seven days left before Thanksgiving.

Do the math: That’s 185 pecan or sweet potato pies per day — priced to move at $20-$23. Braxton is optimistic.

“I have to have hope, I have to think positive,” she said.

It’ll take more than an upbeat attitude in this last struggle to keep her bakery; it’ll take a legion of neighbors. Thus far, however, their support has been wavering.

Many Krumbs fans came forwarded after Braxton’s shop was shut down in June after she was unable to renew her operating permit because she still had $3,655 in unpaid violations. Two fundraisers were organized for the down-and-out baker, but both were sparsely attended. One, in fact, had two attendees — Braxton was one of them.

“I just felt like I didn’t want to bake again,” said Braxton. “I felt humiliated. But I got over that and I just figured out a Plan B.”

The bakery is not without support, of course.

“It was a fabulous bakery,” said Jennifer Stokes, a Krumbs patron and program manager of the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, a neighborhood business group. “She is extremely talented. That night when she closed, I remember passing that corner and seeing people standing around scratching there head. She has a following and she has a gift.”

And she’d better have fast hands. Thanksgiving is Nov. 24.

To place an order, Call Braxton at (347) 384-2275.

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 5:28 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

amanda says:
So am I the only one who doesn't understand why people would want to buy pies to help this place pay of HEALTH VIOLATIONS? I mean seriously how crazy is that?? And if this isn't the first time then she obviously doesn't care about cleaning the place up.
Nov. 18, 2011, 8:35 am
amanda says:
So am I the only one who doesn't understand why people would want to buy pies to help this place pay of HEALTH VIOLATIONS? I mean seriously how crazy is that?? And if this isn't the first time then she obviously doesn't care about cleaning the place up.
Nov. 18, 2011, 8:35 am
amanda from n/a says:
So am I the only one who doesn't understand why people would want to buy pies to help this place pay of HEALTH VIOLATIONS? I mean seriously how crazy is that?? And if this isn't the first time then she obviously doesn't care about cleaning the place up.
Nov. 18, 2011, 8:35 am
Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge says:
Sounds like what she needs is a bottle of bleach and a scrub brush.
Nov. 18, 2011, 9:10 am
Homey from Crooklyn says:
You people have no clue. The Health Department makes
mafia extortionists look like lightweights.
You've obviously never run a business in the city and have no clue what these nazi bureacrats are like.
One business got a fine because their cashier was drinking a cup of coffee !?
It's all about the cash and about shaking down small
businesses.
Nov. 18, 2011, 10:13 am
kat from bk says:
their head, not there.
Nov. 18, 2011, 1:39 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
I agree with Homey from Crooklyn. The Health Department is arbitrary and capricious. Remember when they instituted their letter coding and so many businesses 'failed.' Then, not scants weeks later, they entire system was redone and nearly everyone received an 'A.' While I don't have the bare facts to support it, I think it's plausible to suspect that there was some blowback from the restaurant industry in New York City and restrictions were slackened. This is the opposite effect that Homey is describing, but it demonstrates how capricious the Health Department is.
Nov. 18, 2011, 2:57 pm
MrDude from Bushwick says:
Would be helpful to hear what the violations were, and if they were corrected after the fines were issued. Otherwise it just sounds sort of scary :-P
Nov. 18, 2011, 3:56 pm
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
maybe the Pee-can pie caused the fines in the first place
Nov. 18, 2011, 4:10 pm
Jack Horner from Corner says:
I will stick my thumb in her pie, but will wash my hands after doing so.
Nov. 18, 2011, 7:37 pm
Arielle from Bushwick says:
Um, the phone number seems to be wrong! Is there another number where I can place an order?
Nov. 18, 2011, 10:25 pm
adrienne braxton from clinton hill says:
first of all colin mixson,when you report on something you need to write the correct information given to you.i was not repeatedly shut down,i was shut down ONCE for not having renewed my permit,not any health violations,and it's also a good idea to learn to read ,it tells you so on the sign.thanks so much.
Nov. 19, 2011, 12:59 am
Brooklyn We Go Hard from Fort Greene says:
Ms. Braxton, have you considered getting pie orders from local restaurants in the neighborhood? It takes a village to support one another.
Nov. 19, 2011, 7:21 am
Pamela from Park Slope says:
Her pies were found to contain unacceptable levels of human fecal matter. I Can not comment on the freshness of the poo....
Nov. 19, 2011, 9:10 am
Brooklyn We Go Hard from Fort Greene says:
Pamela, can you provide a link to support your post? Thank you in advance.
Nov. 19, 2011, 9:24 am
R.C. from Williamsburg says:
"The list of the bakery’s most recent violations, available on the DOH Web site, includes the absence of proper hand-washing facilities, and the failure to protect food from potential sources of contamination. The most recent inspection took place on June 24." as stated in the Local. this is the link actual details of the violations are not given.

http://fort-greene.thelocal.nytimes.com/2011/07/13/health-department-closes-troubled-bakery-owner-hopes-to-reopen/
Nov. 20, 2011, 5:20 am
Kat from Brooklyn says:
I just placed an order. Reason? To help support small business and of course I love sweet potato pie! Finally, everyone needs help sometimes and if we want to see the change in the world, lets support one another. One day you may need help too.
Nov. 20, 2011, 12:10 pm
Brooklyn We Go Hard from Fort Greene says:
Thank you R.C., I knew Pamela could not provide supporting documents for her internet gansta post. There are a few businesses in Fort Greene that have been closed MORE times and had MORE violations then Krumbs and they are still open and have the support of the community.
Nov. 20, 2011, 3:41 pm
Theresa Martine from Fort Greene says:
It's interesting how snide and condescending people can be when they don't know what they're talking about. The DOH is only tangentially concerned with "health." Their mission under Bloomberg is to levy as many fines as they can, which is easy to do since the regulations are arbitrary, even made-to-order. I know a restaurant that got cited for having a paper towel rack "too close to a sink," another that was closed for a week because a permit was a day overdue. Do the know-it-alls above think these are matters of health? What DOH is actually doing is their own "stop and frisk." Good government or government shake down?
Nov. 25, 2011, 4:26 pm
Petra from Solomon says:
Definitely the Department of Health is out of control. By order of the mayor, of course. DOH recently threatened Sardi's, which served a bar freebee of crock cheese and crackers. DOH let them know they'd be cited if they continued the tradition. And the famous Algonquin cat has been banned from the mingling with the guests. The Algonquin's series of convivial cats goes back to the 1930s, I think 11 in all -- all famous, all beloved, all part of the Algonquin legend. No one got sick from the bar cheese or from the gregarious cats. Quite the opposite: People loved the canape and the cats. Health is the least of DOH's mission. Health is just the excuse for fining and shutting down restaurants. Similarly, the Department of Consumer Affairs is tasked with making life impossible for NYC supermarkets.
Nov. 26, 2011, 10:53 pm

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