Marina Sourbis, assistant to Helene Godin at Hastings' , sees her boss as "the Kevin Bacon of local bakery owners."
Ever play the game "Six Degrees of Separation from Kavin Bacon"? It's based on the premise that he's been in so many movies, with so many people, that you can connect him to any other actor within six (or some say 10) degrees of separation.
"It's like that with this bakery," Sourbis explained. "Our pastries are everywhere."
Even though the , Godin is already selling some of her bakedgoods—chocolate chip and ginger molasses cookies and chocolate-dipped biscotti—on a test basis at supermarket in Ardsley.
Recently, on the River in Irvington, one of the area's most well-known and respected restaurants, has begun to offer Godin's gluten-free Lemon Tea Cake on its dessert menu (pictured).
"Recently a couple came into the bakery and said they'd had the lemon cake at The Red Hat and wanted to try some of our other desserts," Godin said. "Having our name on their menu has been great."
Red Hat owner James Parker reciprocates Godin's feelings:
"Not only is this cake delicious and locally sourced, it lets Red Hat offer a gluten and dairy-free dessert option, which is an added bonus. Working with Helene of By The Way is a pleasure."
Similarly, Randell Dodge of the just around the corner from The Red Hat also has some of her desserts on the menu.
More and more, Rivertowns business owners are learning that cross-promotion and collaboration may be the key to weathering the economic turbulence.
Lindsay Fastiggi, who recently opened in Dobbs Ferry, agrees with this businesses-helping-businesses" model whole-heartedly. Fastiggi provides some of her exotic and often hard-to-find spices to local restaurants: , and T.
"We're all here, so close together," Fastiggi said. "We feel like kind of a team."
In the spring, Fastiggi hopes to work with The Cookery to provide culinary and spicing classes, and she already uses Cedar Street Grill's kitchen—conveniently located directly across the street—to make her signature chocolate bark.
Matt Kay, head chef at Cedar Street Grill, is hooked on Fastiggi's Applewood smoked sea salt.
"It's delicious and hard to find," Kay said. He uses it regularly on items he's introduced to the restaurant's new brunch menu.
As a quid pro quo for inviting Fastiggi into his kitchen, Kay gets to learn the art of chocolate-making—and it is an art.
"I love chocolate, but I'm not very familiar with making it," he said. "So watching her is a cool sort of culinary education for me."
Kay will even give out complementary Spice Revolution chocolates to all of his Valentine's Day dinner guests with their bills.
"We're both local and own new businesses, so we try to help each other out—provide support," Kay said.
Down the street, Jillian Renz—owner of —feels she is intrinsically connected to , a seemingly completely unrelated business.
"I met Paul and Ann Scattarettico [owners of Stolen Moments Entertainment] six years ago when I auditioned for their wedding band," Renz said. "I got the job and have been working with them ever since. Paul and Ann are also the landlords of the storefront I was interested in."
When the space became available, the Scattaretticos gave Renz the opportunity to open her gift store in their building.
"They have been totally supportive in every way in trying to help me and teach me creative ways to maintain and improve my business idea," Renz said.
Renz also hand-presses custom shirts for a number of Stolen Moments' events including: bridal parties, reunions, sweet 16's, bar/bat mitzvahs and other parties.
Recently, the Cedar Street business owners all banded together and took out an advertisement in "Westchester Guest Magazine," a publication that is placed in almost all hotel rooms in Westchester.
" isn't really on Cedar Street, but we included them as an honorary Cedar Street business because they really anchor the area," Fastggi said.
And though she could easily have brewed her own custom coffee beans, By the Way's Godin opted not to step on the toes of revered brew.
"I buy coffee beans from Kus [Veham] because they are custom beans and so many people recognize theirs as the best coffee in town," Godin said.
"When I opened my bakery here, my idea was all about being local and supporting our downtown area—adding to it, not adding competition within it," Godin said. "I think I've stayed true to that."
Do You know of other business collaborations? Post them in the comments!