By Janee Law
With the fall season comes cooler weather, red and orange leaves on the trees and the regrowth of that pesky sweet tooth, which Reinwald’s Bakery in Huntington has become known to satisfy.
“You mention Reinwald’s Bakery around town and people say, ‘Oh, they got the best jelly donuts,’” said Richard Reinwald, 63, of Huntington, owner of the 27-year-old bakery. The “best” donuts are made with a secret, which Reinwald divulged.
The process of making the donuts is just as important as the ingredients.
Like wine, improving with age, dough, bread or any fermented product develops a pleasing set of flavors “when it's aged and fermented correctly,” Reinwald said.
Reinwald’s itself has aged like a fine wine, providing Huntington with luxurious goodies like cookies, cakes, pastries, breads and confections.
Reinwald, a third-generation baker, said that his roots for creating sweetness started with his grandfather, who owned several bakeries in the mid-1900s.
“My mother said she was never going to marry a baker and she did,” Reinwald said. “My father learned the trade over in Germany and he had a bakery in the Bronx, then in Valley Stream and then finally in Bellerose, Queens.”
In 1978, Reinwald bought the Bellerose business from his father, but decided to look for another location on Long Island. In 1988, Reinwald officially opened the 6,600-square-foot Huntington bakery at 495 New York Ave.
There, now with a staff of 30, Reinwald offers homemade treats at a range of prices (from $1.50 for a brownie to $1,000+ for sculpted cakes).
The latest addition to these assortments is the green apple mousse cake, which Reinwald said has a green apple cream ballet in the center and is baked on a graham cracker crust. Reinwald also folds sour cream into the mousse “to take the edge off the sweetness.”
With recipes like the green apple mousse cake, Reinwald said his bakery produces 500 cakes per week for celebrations like birthdays, weddings, showers and graduations.
A particularly important celebration for Reinwald’s approaches in December. Typically, during the winter holidays, Reinwald said the bakery sells “4,000-6,000 trays” of butter cookies, which weigh in between 2-3 pounds each.
Another staple is Reinwald’s gingerbread formula, which is 140 years old, but matches up to today’s standards. The formula and consists of honey, molasses, fruit and nuts, but doesn’t contain any sugar or fats, Reinwald said: A “140 year old recipe [that] still fits the bill.”
That recipe, along with the bakery itself, is something that Reinwald said he’s hoping to pass down to future generations of his family, as it was passed down to him.
While Reinwald is the sole owner of the bakery, he also works with two of his brothers, Joseph, 41, and Andrew, 66, who retired from the business a year ago. Reinwald’s wife Carole, 59, also works at the bakery, along with the couple’s son Christopher, 34, a fourth-generation baker.
In the future, Reinwald will pass down the bakery to his son and hopes to “create a successful transition for the next generation.”