Home » This Ridgewood Bakery Has Been a Bergen County Staple Since 2011

This Ridgewood Bakery Has Been a Bergen County Staple Since 2011

by Francesca DiPisa
Wonder Lofts
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It’s no surprise that people like to indulge in “the finer things” in life once in a while. The criteria are different for everyone: sometimes it’s a whole day affair like a trip to the spa or the beach, but other times, it’s less about the grandeur of it all and more about the feeling it entices. Sook Pastry, located at 24-26 Broad Street in Ridgewood, is a bakery that delivers the trifecta of decadent cakes and breads, a magical European ambiance, and a cozy atmosphere fit for any occasion. Keep reading to learn more about the award-winning chef’s journey to opening her bakery and how its extensive menu can make any customer feel fancy.

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About Chef Sook

Keum Sook Park always loved the art of cooking and baking since she was a young girl sampling food from her mother’s kitchen in her native Korea. She took her dreams to New York City where she studied baking and pastry at the Institute of Culinary Education and then the French Culinary Institute. Sook interned in prestigious kitchens under chef legends like Jacques Torres, Johnny Iuzzini, Eric Bedoucha, and Michael Laiskonis, which eventually led her to land a job at the former famous Payard Pâtisserie + Bistro on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. After a few years of experience in the bustling restaurant scene in the city that never sleeps, Sook was inspired to try and open a shop with her creations.

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Sook — along with her husband, Izzy — looked for spaces fit enough for their vision. Over the course of a year, they checked out places in the city, New York State, and different regions of New Jersey like Sussex County, the New Brunswick area, and Montclair. They finally landed on what is now Sook’s current location in Ridgewood after having other trusted restaurant professionals check out the space and even researching traffic patterns getting to the store. Sook brought along her former colleagues from New York City and the bakery opened in March 2011 under her name (a French tradition in itself), having been a staple in the heart of Ridgewood ever since.

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What to Expect

The vibe is reminiscent of a scene taken straight out of a romantic French daydream: the seating area is inviting with wood paneling featuring warm light fixtures hanging from the ceiling; pictures of bread adorn the walls; and there’s a shelf filled with cookies and other goodies available for purchase.

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It’s important to note the see-through window in the back of the store where anyone can see the chefs at work, which is purposeful since the staff loves to see its visitors. This doesn’t even cover the pastry case which is sure to distract any curious customer as it is filled with full-sized cakes, tarts, breads, baked goods, and unique desserts, all of which are Sook’s original creations. Sook also has its chocolate shop right next door which includes top-of-the-line chocolate truffles and other seasonal items.

The bakery recently won another ‘Best of Bergen’ award for its fifth consecutive year, and that’s no surprise to anyone who’s eaten there. “We always want to bring a new palette to new and returning customers,” Izzy said. “People come to Sook to be dazzled, to look at something new. They don’t even have to buy it sometimes — it’s like a museum. It isn’t about ‘popular demand.’ Why not take a chance!” Among the one-of-a-kind dessert selections are mini cakes and pastries, some of which are gluten-free.

The Bergen County Girl highly recommends trying one of its classics like The Ridgewood (64% chocolate mousse, vanilla crème brûlée filling, + chocolate sponge) or a newcomer creation like The Cranford (chocolate mousse, praline mousse filling, + brownie). For a next-level treat, pair a pastry or baked good with a choice from Sook’s selection of loose-leaf teas, specialty coffees, bubble tea, or its homemade hot chocolate recipe inspired by those of France.

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Sook Pastry has made a name for itself because it’s always keeping its customers in mind. For instance, the staff decided to put up a poster for Ramadan to remind Muslim patrons that although some of the pastries contain ingredients they cannot consume, the bakery wants to let them know that there are other selections available to them. Sook has also contributed to the “Feed the Frontline and Helping Those in Need” program, where the bakery sends hundreds of its crêpes daily to food pantries, soup kitchens, and hospitals all over Bergen County. This act leads Sook Pastry to receive the Jefferson Award for Charity from the Governor of New Jersey. The husband-and-wife duo also take trips to France several times a year to keep up with new pastry and baking trends to bring them over to the U.S.

See More: Team Dadzie Patisserie: Bloomfield’s Newest Bakery

There’s no doubt that the staff and Sook herself genuinely care about the quality of its products and its customers. As many restaurateurs and culinary practitioners alike know, working in the pastry scene above all other food is by no means a super profitable sector. Team Sook is always making new creations and is interested in serving more savory breakfast items, but they’re not looking to open another location anytime soon. They want to make sure they take care of their loyal customers first and keep greeting them at the counter, or rather, through its special window. Sook Pastry is open Sunday through Thursday from 7AM-10PM and Friday and Saturday from 6AM-11PM.

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