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Now Open

I am so tired that I can barely keep my eyes open long enough to write this post, but I wanted to share with everyone how our first day went. I will let the pictures do the talking. All I can say was it was wonderful. Our friends and family came by and the people in the neighborhood are the best. The deli owners from next door even sent us flowers. Our products looked great, Queenie and Sara had everything ready and I couldn’t have asked for better on our first day. Sure, we have a ton of logistics to still work out, but I’m happy.

Amai Tea & Bake House
171 3rd Avenue (between 16th and 17th Streets)
New York, NY 10003
Subway: L to 3rd Avenue or 4/5/6/N/Q/R to Union Square
(212) 863-9630 phone

8am to 10pm Monday to Saturday
10 am to 5pm Sunday

The case
The case where we display our cookies and brownies.

Our tea cabinet
The tea cabinet. Everything is color coded by type of tea (black, green, white, etc.)

Retail shelf
Amai cookie boxes and our favorite tea.

Plain croissants (made entirely from scratch, in house).

Chocolate coconut fig cookies
Coconut, chocolate fig cookies.

Vanilla Bean, Matcha and Earl Grey & Currant Scones (available with different flavored butters like matcha, lavender, honey and roasted pear).

Chocolate chip cookies
Bittersweet chocolate chip cookies made with 99%, 70% and 54% chocolate and cocoa nibs.

Quince Botanical Brownies

Queenie and Kelli
Queenie and Kelli.

Andrew the barista
Andrew trying to wake himself up and get ready for his first shift as a barista.

Sara, the mastermind behind much of our display case.

Sara and her conversation tarts
Sara preparing the best sweet potato tarts ever.

Jen and Yogurt
Jen, our baking assistant, getting ready to dig into yogurt to prepare the parfaits. The yogurt comes from a local New York City greek store and is the best I’ve ever had.

Our very first customer
Our very first customer.


Carol says on October 22nd, 2007 at 10:34 pm:

CONGRATS!! It all looks wonderful! Now I am very hungry and wish NYC was not too far way to drive there in the AM for tea and….. oh my!…. one of each of all those spectacular baked delicacies! Hope I can get to the city before too long.
Carol in Amherst

Maggie says on October 22nd, 2007 at 11:17 pm:

Congratulations!!!! : ) Mmmmmmmmm….everything looks GREAT!

shuna fish lydon says on October 22nd, 2007 at 11:23 pm:

All I can say is, yes, I know how tired and happy you are.

A massive Californian CONGRATS from all of us who have been following along now for YEARS!!

Yeah Amai! Yeah team! Yeah Dreams That Come True!

Kenneth says on October 22nd, 2007 at 11:31 pm:

Awesome guys, congrats. Looks like I better come visit! And by a stroke of luck, I am: arriving Nov 1st, I’ll be in NYC for a week. Looking forward to coming over!

fanny says on October 23rd, 2007 at 12:44 am:

Oh Kelli,
this is just fantastic.
Can’t wait to go to nyc to visit you and taste your delicate tea sweets.

Bora says on October 23rd, 2007 at 12:57 am:

My bf works in NY and I told him he should stop by because I read you were opening today. He had only good things to say about his visit and everything he tasted (He especially liked the Vanilla Bean Scone). I’ll be in the city next week so hopefully I can drop by then. Congratulations!

dbdtron says on October 23rd, 2007 at 7:59 am:

Ok, I’m there! Congrats on the first day! See ya tommorrow AM!


Alaina says on October 23rd, 2007 at 9:11 am:

Congratulations! I’ll be by soon!

Marc says on October 23rd, 2007 at 9:29 am:

Yay! Congrats again! :D I wish I could have been there, but I’ll be in town the week of Thanksgiving and will definitely stop in!

becky says on October 23rd, 2007 at 10:15 am:

everything looks fabulous, kelli! congratulations again! i can’t wait to come to nyc and visit the store :D

Blue Shoe Mike says on October 23rd, 2007 at 10:52 am:

Sara is wearing my DKNY hat! My hat and Sara are famous!

Those are some mean looking tarts!

Jee says on October 23rd, 2007 at 11:18 am:

The sweet potato puff pastry was DELICIOUS! I’m coming back for seconds…and thirds….

megan says on October 23rd, 2007 at 11:46 am:

A huge, huge congratulations!

Kristin says on October 23rd, 2007 at 12:38 pm:

Gitty Up! Can’t wait to see it in person…looks AWESOME! Congrats!

Ray Bernard says on October 23rd, 2007 at 12:43 pm:

Everything looks fabulous. I only wish I could see the baseboards in the picture (how I spent my Fall vacation). I’m so proud of you!!!

Kelli says on October 23rd, 2007 at 12:49 pm:

Thank you everyone!

Bora- I met your boyfriend and he dutifully tried many things :) Thanks for sending him over. Hope to see you in sometime too.

Mariko says on October 23rd, 2007 at 12:58 pm:

Yay, congratulations!!!!!!

Opening Day! « One Sweet World says on October 23rd, 2007 at 1:03 pm:

[...] Opening Day! Kelli & Andrew in Front of Store Stopped in to see everyone at Amai yesterday and CONGRATULATE them on making it to Opening Day!  I know it’s been a long, exhausting road for Kelli and Andrew…but the store looks fabulous and so does all of the baked goods.  It was a special day for me, as well; although, I no longer officially work there, I felt very proud to be a part of all of this over the past year.  And from someone who has dreams of opening her own bakery one day, it was a thrill to see a friend be able to realize her dream after so much hard work.  I really do admire the sheer commitment Kelli has for her business and Andrew has for Kelli.  They have dedicated everything to make this a reality, and they have succeeded as a team.  I sincerely wish them the best.  Now…I’ll let you take a peak at how everything looked. Front Window Cookies & Brownies Home…display case built by Andrew Beautiful Handmade Pastries Amai Retail & Specialty Teas Card Catalog of Teas & Flowers I Bought as a Store-Warming Gift Cozy Back Nook View of the Store From Back [...]

Lissa says on October 23rd, 2007 at 1:10 pm:

Everything I tried (including the new cookie types-sesame and chocolate, the earl grey and currant scone, the chocolate chip cookie, and the matcha muffin-alot I know, but somehow not nearly enough!!) was amazing!!! I can’t wait to come back soon for more, with friends. Congratulations again. The store looks beautiful and was so serene. And there are so many more things I want to try.

George says on October 23rd, 2007 at 1:54 pm:

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!I’ve told the whole family. Maybe, now they’ll move to New York.

Will visit soon.


Abby says on October 23rd, 2007 at 2:08 pm:

Wow! Congrats! I’m already planning what I want to try first, and second, and third.

latifa says on October 23rd, 2007 at 2:21 pm:

congratulations kelli, dreams come true.
evrything looks perfect. good luck

Carrie says on October 23rd, 2007 at 2:44 pm:

Hey Kelli,

WOW! IMPRESSIVE!!! Can’t wait to come to NYC to visit and taste all the goodies. Well done!!!

Brad, Kelley & Chelsea says on October 23rd, 2007 at 3:28 pm:

Congratulations Kelli! Everything looks sooooo yummy! We hope to see it in person someday! Best of luck to you!!

Diane, Mike and Connor Silverman says on October 23rd, 2007 at 4:06 pm:

Hi Kelli

The bakery looks so nice, very cozy and quaint…Connor wants to come now. I hope we can stop by in the near future…Best of Luck.

Judy Hudson says on October 23rd, 2007 at 4:43 pm:

Hello Kelli-
I am George Blouin’s good friend from camp days and Pennsylvania. We come to the city monthly so you can expect to see Jim and Judy (I hope with George)at your new tea shop. Scones are my favorite and the selections sounds enticing to say the least. I look foreward to visiting and tasting!
Judy Hudson

Clarice says on October 23rd, 2007 at 7:35 pm:

Congratulations on a beautiful opening.

Sherri, Dimitri, Kylie, Niko & Alex says on October 23rd, 2007 at 7:39 pm:

Hello Kelli,

CONGRATUATIONS!!! Very exciting for you. Your store looks amazing and we look forward to one day visiting you in New York. Wishing you MANY customer and always the best!!

Dave R says on October 23rd, 2007 at 7:44 pm:

Wow! Kelli, I am so excited for you and Andrew–and so hungry after looking at all the yummy pictures. What a dream come true.

LA is a long way from NYC, so I guess I’d better order up a batch of brownies to toast your opening with. And I hope to get there in person!


Marichelle says on October 23rd, 2007 at 9:11 pm:

Everything was delicious! Next time I’ll be targeting the goods in the case near the register and sitting down for a nice cup of tea. I can’t believe Andrew made that Recchiuti-esque case! If I ever open up my shop, I may have to beg you to design and build the fixtures. Congrats again!! You guys are truly inspirational.

maddy says on October 23rd, 2007 at 9:27 pm:

I love the look of your shop- Is that an old card catalog you’re using for a tea cabinet? Your desserts also look amazing- I wish I was closer to NYC so I could stop by!

Debbie says on October 23rd, 2007 at 10:25 pm:

Save some vanilla bean scones for me! Congratulations on a dream come true.

site admin says on October 23rd, 2007 at 10:37 pm:

I really, really appreciate all of your support. It is what keeps me going, thank you.

P.s. Maddy – Yes, that is an old card catalog. My dad found it for us in a Craigslist posting in Masschusetts. Andrew and I drove to Amherst to pick it up. The woman I got it from, Carol, is the first commenter on this post. It’s funny how dessert lovers can be connected thanks to the internet! I love it. The catalog is great for our tea. We also have a second one downstairs that we use to store our packaging supplies.

malini says on October 24th, 2007 at 12:52 am:

Congratulations Kelli. A must stop during my next visit.

Wishing you all the best.

McAuliflower says on October 24th, 2007 at 2:12 am:

This is so sweet! All that hard work- it looks beautiful.

keiko says on October 24th, 2007 at 4:22 am:

Kelli, I’m so happy to read this post – everything looks fantastic (and Andrew looks great in the barista outfit too :) ) I must go back soon, take care and keep us posted! kxxx

Deb says on October 24th, 2007 at 10:13 am:

Hi Kelli – I have been a lurker for a long while but had to come out and say CONGRATULATIONS!! Seeing your dream of opening a store come true is SO inspiring! I wish you all the best in your new business and when I get to NYC again one day, I will definitely visit your place!

Graeme says on October 24th, 2007 at 2:03 pm:

Congratulations, Kelli!

Everyone looks so happy, and with good reason. You’ve done it!

Jennifer says on October 24th, 2007 at 2:05 pm:

Congratulations!I am huge sara dyson fan. My colleagues and I had the pleasure of tasting (read:devouring) her “homework” back in her school days. I know that she has been bustin’ her booty for this opening, and her excitement is infectious! I cannot wait to come by and experience it for myself.

su.wa says on October 24th, 2007 at 2:58 pm:

where are you located???? need a lovely dessert go to place……

josh says on October 24th, 2007 at 4:23 pm:

Congrats! The space looks beautiful.

Adam says on October 24th, 2007 at 4:34 pm:

Congrats! Can’t wait to pop in…

Julie says on October 24th, 2007 at 5:41 pm:

Congratulations!! It looks amazing _ as do all of the sweets and the tea. I can’t wait to come by!!

Jessica "Su Good Sweets" says on October 24th, 2007 at 10:33 pm:

Congrats! Wow! Scones and tea butter too? Homemade croissants? I’ll have to stop by and say hello.

Monique & Milt Theodossin says on October 25th, 2007 at 3:04 am:

Kelli, we’re in Maui & just got the pictures of your store. Congratulations to you & Andrew. It looks great and everything looks delicious & so inviting. We’ll be placing our 1st order after we get home next week. Today NY, tomorrow the World!

Cocoa says on October 25th, 2007 at 7:51 am:

Congratulations – work nearby and can’t wait to check it out. Found you through Easter.com and I bet lots of others will too. You should put your address at the top of the page so we can find you in the real world!

Jeannette & Maurice... says on October 25th, 2007 at 12:13 pm:

HI Kelli and Andrew…

A well deserved congratulation and best of luck in your new endeavor…Dreams do come true ////
we will have to plan a trip to NY and visit that beautiful new pastry shop.

Good Luck to both of you …

Farah says on October 25th, 2007 at 1:56 pm:

You can just tell how much love went into the conception and construction of this store. All the best to you Kelli and Andrew, I can’t wait to visit Amai soon!

Sharon says on October 25th, 2007 at 8:27 pm:

Great news…congratulations!
mmmmm…mmmmm roasted pear butter…sweet potato tarts….I can hardly wait! I’ll be there between Dec 12&14

Kelli Bernard says on October 25th, 2007 at 9:08 pm:

Sorry guys! We posted the address in our previous post, but I should have definitely put it here. You should see it up there in just a second…

cheryl says on October 26th, 2007 at 4:32 am:

Kelli congrats! The place looks ABsolutely FABUlous!!!!
I can’t wait to visit! I promise it does get easier and better everday. Remember all my whining :) and you were always so supportive. Let me know if Griff and I can answer any questions along the way. We have made EVERY mistake & learned alot over 41/2 years. Yeah!!! I am so happy for you both.

Laurie says on October 27th, 2007 at 5:19 pm:

WOW! I am still in such awe…and so deeply proud! You & Andrew have poured your souls into “AMAI!” I have to say…”HOW SWEET IT IS!” :-) I know you never thought you’d see the day that I was at a loss for words! Congratulations!

Anne Dyson says on October 28th, 2007 at 9:13 pm:

Congratulations Kelli & All !

We are so proud of Sara & can’t wait to visit NYC again, see Amai, meet everyone and eat lots of fresh baked goodies!!!
And With Good Tea !!!

With Love,
Anne & Jeff Dyson

Fran says on October 29th, 2007 at 10:02 am:

Kelli, everything looks so good and the memory of your brownies brought for Coll’s wedding lingers strongly in my sensorium. Then the pictures here. I want to try the croissants. I want to try everything. Another reason to get myself to NYC. Congratulations on the opening.

Jess says on October 30th, 2007 at 9:26 pm:

Kelli, what a sweet dream. I’m so very impressed with your work. Congrats and good luck. I’ll visit soon!

pj says on November 2nd, 2007 at 12:18 pm:

Kelli,I’m a longtime reader (and mostly lurker) of yours from the Philippines, and you are a constant inspiration for me! Congratulations to you and everyone else behind Amai. :)

Oishii Eats says on November 3rd, 2007 at 8:56 pm:

おめでとうございます!!! Congratulations Kelli and all the rest at Amai! I love the library style tea cabinets. Hopefully I’ll be able to visit your beloved shop in the spring.

Tracey says on November 4th, 2007 at 7:04 pm:

Congratulations!! It’s so beautiful to see dreams come true.

buttercup says on November 4th, 2007 at 7:15 pm:

I just came across your blog while searching for “Princess Cake.” What a cute blog! I’m going to check out your tea place. Good luck! – Buttercup

Muriel says on November 12th, 2007 at 12:29 pm:

Congratulations Kelli and Andrew! What you’ve done is amazing and very inspiring. I hope you’ll get some rest too, now that the store is open and everything looks great and delicious.

paul maginnis says on November 21st, 2007 at 11:40 pm:

sara et al,
congratulations. and have a safe and delightful trip to europe. look forward to reading article about you all in the new york times. have fun.
paul and linda in texas.

zambonisam says on November 26th, 2007 at 5:55 pm:

congratulations guys!! i’ve been following the shop’s progress via andrew’s flickr photos and it looks great. can’t wait to check it out in person!

cousin chris says on November 26th, 2007 at 10:06 pm:

Hi Kelli is Chris your cousin can’t wait to come to the store

Peko Peko says on December 1st, 2007 at 1:59 pm:

Oh! Openした!

Congrats! All the best!!


Theron says on December 5th, 2007 at 2:35 am:

How exciting! I just found your blog and it inspired me. Congratulations on your this new chapter in your lives. The way you are promoting your place through your story is fantastic. What heart!

bellastagiona says on January 2nd, 2008 at 8:29 pm:

it’s beautiful!!! where, oh where did you find that lovely display case and tea cabinet?? O.O

Laura from Australia says on February 7th, 2008 at 5:49 pm:

Your so funny!! What did you first customer think about being photographed? Your shop is just beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to capture such an important day for us, your internet fan club :)

Amy says on February 29th, 2008 at 9:46 am:

Love this site. The display is wonderful! I like the tea cabinet from the card catalog.

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Lovescool is the documentation of a journey to discover what sweet things are out there, why people love them so much, and perhaps what it takes to start something new.

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An interest, that turned into a blog, that turned into a career. Kelli Bernard is now the owner and baker of Amai Tea & Bake House.

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Blog posts are dropped into categories like cookies on a cookie-sheet.

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General (160)
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But I think we are all searching for that special something.



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