Last year's record breaking attendance in Coney Island is attracting new businesses to the neighborhood, including one that's not typical for the area. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed this report.
The walls are being painted and the floors measured as a Coney Island storefront one block from boardwalk is being transformed into a specialty cake shop called A Piece of Velvet.
"Every cake we do here is a velvet cake—so the texture and the moistness of the cake. It's always light, always moist," says owner Michael Morgan.
There are 25 varieties in addition to the signature red velvet cake.
"There's vanilla velvet, chocolate velvet, strawberry vanilla velvet," says manager Lucy Almonte.
"We have Bailey's Irish Cream alcohol cake, so we have a alcohol section in fact. We have Ciroc Coconout cake. We have a Rum Pina Colada cake," Morgan says.
The cakes are baked here at the old Pfizer building in Williamsburg, now set up as a food manufacturing hub. They're then distributed to its retail stores—one in Harlem, the other in Fort Greene on Fulton Street in the former space of legendary Cake Man Raven. The baker, known as the Cake Man, closed his business at this location back in 2012.
It's his former employees who started this new velvet venture.
"It's definitely a draw on red velvet cake and a draw on what Cake Man actually started, definitely. But where he put it down, we picked it up and we've run with it," Morgan says.
This Surf Avenue storefront will be the company's third retail site. It will be a sit-down cafe with free wifi and outdoor seating in the summer.
"We don't have something that fits that niche of a cafe, wireless internet type of establishement here in Coney Island so we're very excited about it," says Johanna Zaki of the Alliance for Coney Island.
The shop says it's also known for giving out samples.
"We actually go outside with trays of samples to get customers in," Almonte says. "I am planning to go out to the beach in the summer."
Cakes are priced at $60. But there are also cupcakes for $3 and slices for $6.
Piece of Velvet says what's next is a retail store in Crown Heights and a wholesale business.
First though, it's getting this Coney Island spot open by Valentine's Day.