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   Claudia Crisan and Iggy Calabria met at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia while studying Crafts and Music.  In addition to their art, both loved desserts.  Luckily Philadelphia offered many excellent bakeries and pastry shops but nothing like the desserts and cakes Claudia’s parents made in their bakeries in her native Romania.  This started their conversation of bringing her family recipes to the States and opening a unique place of their own that could combine their love of art and cake. 

   After UArts, Claudia attended the Royal College of Art in London while Iggy pursued a Masters in Music Education.  Wedding jewelry became the focus of Claudia’s final body of work at RCA.  Building on decorating skills she acquired as a child while helping her mother make sugar leaves and flowers, she explored edible sugar jewelry and created large body pieces that allow interaction between wearer and the audience through taste and memory…consumable art…the concept for their project was forming, but they still needed a space. 

   After graduating and getting married, they settled in Central New Jersey for one year where Iggy landed a K-8 teaching gig but their focus was on opening their “bakery”.  Iggy’s family (NYC natives who migrated north) advised them to consider Albany as they looked for a small, beautiful city that might need and appreciate their concept and product - it just happened to be a perfect match and then fate sealed the deal: Iggy’s Aunt Mary Sue noticed an old bakery for sale.  197 Lark Street was Carosello Bakery for many years but had been empty and neglected.  10 months of renovating revealed Crisan Bakery in 2008, a full scratch bakery and cafe that made and served fresh pastries, desserts, and gelato.  Their success was immediate and the art concept was set aside. 

   6 years and 3 daughters later (they had twins!) the now seasoned business partners decided to shift their full focus back to their original seedling concept that still lingered from their early conversations in Philadelphia espresso bars: the intimate gallery, the sugar art, the studio, the combining of simple beauty with the complex and immediate sensation of taste.  The former café is now a private Tasting Room where Claudia meets with clients to discuss every detail of special orders.  When not in use the Tasting Room is open to reserve for those seeking exclusive privacy when indulging in our tableside dessert service.

   The other half of the former café is now Claudia’s carefully-designed studio where she dearly crafts each and every cake every day.  To keep their loyal and beloved customers happy they also chose to wholesale some of their signature products to select local cafes and restaurants in the Albany area. 

Check out our recent article published in the Times Union

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Crisan Bakery & Edible Art Gallery I 197 Lark Street I Albany, NY 12210 I T: 518-445-2727 I F: 518-445-2728 I e-mail I crisanbakery.com