Glaser’s Bake Shop

New York, New York | C.1902

Photo Credit: James And Karla Murray

The Apothecary-styled wood cabinets that panel the dark rectangular interior and the white tiled floors are what distinguish the 100-year-old Glaser Bake Shop in New York City. Opened in 1902 by John Glaser, the German family-bakery has been operated by three generations of Glaser family members.

Located on 87th Street and 1st Avenue of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Glaser’s Bake Shop specializes in Bavarian pastries. They are famously known for their “Black-and-White Cookie”. The origin these delectable treats are commonly traced back to their bakery as the cookie was among the original recipes used by the bakery.

Although local New Yorkers may consider Glaster’s the originator of the black-and-white-cookie, another bakery has contested this fact. “Half-moon cookies”, which have an identical appearance to Glaster’s cookies, have a history that can be traced back to 1925 to the Hemstrought’s Bakery in Utica, New York. The relationship between the two origins is murky, but it is likely that both recipes share a common German root, although the origin in Germany is also unclear.

The most recent owners of the bakery were brothers Herb and John Glaser. They had been running the operations nearly around the clock with a small staff and the help of John’s children. John was known to get up at 1am to start the next day’s work, and Herb would take over just as the sun started to rise.

After churning out baked goods for over 116 years, Herb and his brother decided to retire in 2018. They sold the building and said goodbye to the blue and white tiled words ‘John Glaser Inc.’ transcribed on the white floor. On its closing day their loyal patrons lined up down the block just to get one last delicious treat.

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