Milk Bar Desserts Could Be on Grocery Store Shelves Soon
But don't expect the bakery to become the next Starbucks.
Ten years after opening her first Milk Bar bakery in New York City, founder and chef Christina Tosi is thinking big. The company is currently in serious expansion mode—over the past few months they've opened an L.A. outpost (exclusive items include elote cornbread and pineapple-lime soft serve), partnered with UberEats on delivery service (it's currently available in New York City, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles), and, most recently, debuted their first Massachusetts location in Cambridge (complete with a “Boston Cream Pie Milkquake,” which combines yellow cake, fudge sauce, cereal milk soft serve, and liquid cheesecake). So it's no surprise that Tosi has her sights set on taking Milk Bar nationwide...by bringing her baked goods to grocery store shelves.
In a recent New York Times profile, the chef—who the Times notes is from central Ohio and grew up on "hot dogs, Doritos, and ranch dressing"—says she considers selling Milk Bar desserts in suburban grocery stores "a gift to children looking for creative inspiration in a sea of mass-market blandness." Tosi does get a lot of her inspo from packaged foods—her famous cereal milk is flavored with Cornflakes, and Ovaltine is a key ingredient in Milk Bar's chocolate malt cake.
Of course, mass producing the bakery's treats won't be an easy task: “How do you do that,” Tosi said, “without being like any other hockey-stick white dude?” For now, you can order Milk Bar products (cakes, pies, cookies, cake truffles, mixes, assorted merch) at shop.milkbarstore.com. And, while Tosi's supermarket expansion plan is still pretty vague, she does have another ambitious project that's set to debut later this year: a flagship New York City Milk Bar in the Ace Hotel, complete with a build-your-own dessert station and a mini bodega (paid for with the over $10 million in funding the company received from RSE Ventures). Still, Tosi doesn't want Milk Bar to be too ubiquitous. Or, in other words, another Starbucks. "I sat with it and lost a lot of sleep over it," she said, "and finally I was just like, ‘That’s just not what we are.’”