Four years after Cynthia Bernard, proprietor of Ethlyn’s Bakery, on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, went to the Great Beyond, her brother and sister-in-law are now the new owners of the bakery, renaming it SVG Caribbean Bakery.
Bernard’s brother, Samuel Williams, who hails from Richland Park in the Marriaqua Valley, on mainland St. Vincent, and his wife, Zita Telemaque-Williams, originally from Canouan in the southern St. Vincent Grenadine islands, told Caribbean Life, in an exclusive interview over the weekend, that they continue to keep the bakery open not only in Bernard’s memory “but to continue to be a pillar of the community and to keep the Caribbean flavor alive.”
“We decided to change the name from Ethlyn’s Bakery to SVG Caribbean Bakery as a celebration of our culture and an inclusiveness for the Caribbean people in the community,” said Mrs. Telemaque-Williams, who juggles co-ownership of the bakery with her full-time job as a federal employee in the Nursing Department with the Veterans Affairs Health Administration.
“Our goal is to have a back-home feel about the bakery, baking familiar goods for the Caribbean community in the neighborhood,” added Mrs. Telemaque-Williams, who migrated to New York in 1987. “We are catering to everyone, even though its mainly Caribbean goods.
“We provide a wide variety of baked goods many people are familiar with, and will acquire a taste for our excellent eateries,” she continued, disclosing that those “excellent eateries” comprise, among others, hard dough bread, red belly, sweet potato pudding, saltfish patty, peanut sugar cake, penny bread, bread pudding, cassava pudding and coconut drops.
Mrs. Telemaque-Williams said many clients are also “in love with our saltfish patties, herring patty, breadfruit and saltfish, sweet potato pudding, red belly and peanut sugar cake.”
“These items are a must-have daily,” she declared, stating that the bakery opens daily – Monday to Saturday, from 7 am to 9 pm; and Sundays, from 7 am to 4 pm.
To date, she said she is grateful to members of the community for patronizing her business, particularly singling out New York State Senator Kevin Parker, representative the 21st Senatorial District in Brooklyn, for encouragement and support.
“Thus far, we are fortunate to have our senator, Mr. Kevin Parker, who encouraged us immensely to keep the business in the community,” said Mrs. Telemaque-Williams, adding: “It’s a family affair. My husband and myself, along with our employees, are managing the every-day operation.
“I am fortunate to have the support of my husband, who works tirelessly to make the business a success it is today,” she continued. “I am usually there on my days off (from her regular job) and at times in the morning before I go to work.
“Multi-tasking is second nature to me, and I have been doing very well so far,” Mrs. Telemaque-Williams further declared, while also praising Almighty God and lauding the community for support.
“We have been fortunate with the (patronage of) members of the neighborhood and throughout the Vincentian community, along with our representative and, of course, the blessings and grace of God,” she affirmed. “Without Him, all this would not be possible.”
Mrs. Telemaque-Williams said patrons usually return, “and they would tell a friend or neighbor, which has been phenomenal.”
The bakery, which employs six, is located at 1621 Nostrand Ave., between Tilden Avenue and Beverly Road, in Brooklyn.
One can call the bakery directly at (718) 693-1926, or Mrs. Telemaque-Williams at (917) 376-9288.