TALENT Q&A with Denise of Pip’s Place, the Gluten Free Cakery!

Events Exploits Featured Food Talent
Pip’s Place NYC is not only the new and upcoming popular bakery; it’s the Gluten Free Cakery!
By Juliana Harris

Pip’s Place is an upscale bakery and all of the treats are 100% gluten free! The owner and founder Denise always had a passion for baking. Denise opened Pip’s Place after her daughter, Olivia aka “Pip”, was diagnosed with Celiac disease and was on a new dietary restriction including gluten free foods. She wanted her daughter to still enjoy her favorite treats, so she spent years experimenting and changing her recipes to gluten free while still tasting the same as before. Denise loves baking these tasty gluten free treats for not only her daughter, but for the rest of the world who shares the same dietary restriction. It’s important to her that everyone is able to enjoy their favorite desserts no matter what their dietary preference or restrictions are.

The healthy and delicious bakery has two convenient locations right here in Manhattan. One is located on First Avenue in between 89th and 90th street, and the second location is at east 39th street and Lexington Avenue. The unique bakery delivers to all 5 boroughs of New York and ships throughout North America. The Bakery has been featured in in the press numerous times including: The New York Times, Daily News, CBS, Next Magazine and Sean Weber’s Snack Fixation.

Pip’s Place is the bakery to visit if you’re looking to enjoy something that’s usually impossible to find: treats that are both deliciously sweet and healthy!


Women’s Mafia: Where/how did you get the inspiration to make gluten free treats?
Denise: Olivia, my daughter whose nick name is Pippi is the reason I started Pip’s Place.  This is for her and everyone like her who has to eat gluten free.
Women’s Mafia: What else makes Pip’s treats unique besides the gluten free aspect?
Denise: Pip’s treats are special because they are 100% certified gluten free but they taste like they aren’t.  Most of our recipes are my family recipes baked for generations not gluten free.  I spent 5 years trying to get them to taste like the past so Olivia could enjoy her favorites.

Women’s Mafia: How would you like Pip’s Place to evolve in the next 10 years?
Denise: I believe Pip’s Place will become a National company over the next 10 years.  We had 51,000 guests in our first location during the first 12 months.  I can only imagine how many people we could help enjoy great tasting, home made gluten free treats if we had a Pip’s in every major city!
Women’s Mafia: Describe your creations in 5 words.
Denise: special, heart-warming, passionate, community, joy
Women’s Mafia: Who/what influenced you the most to open up this bakery?
Denise: My husband and children were the driving force because the kids grew up having only home made treats.  My husband wanted me to find a new passion because our last child (Pip) was leaving for college and I needed to fill the void.  And, my friends, who loved what I baked and encouraged me to go for it.
Women’s Mafia: What aspect of this business do you enjoy most?
Denise: I enjoy 2 parts – first the kitchen.  The smells take me back to when my children were small or when I was a child and visited my nana’s house.  I also enjoy my customers.  I love the community that I have created – the stories, the encouragement and the relationships.
Women’s Mafia: Do you have any successful tips that Women’s Mafia members can learn from?
Denise: As a women starting a business after being a stay-at-home Mom for 22 years – don’t be afraid.  Follow the dream and don’t give up.  As a gluten free baker – don’t quit when you fail the first, second or fifth time.  You will get it – keep tweaking the recipe.
I would suggest that being gluten free isn’t a diet, it is a life style and being able to help so many people maintain their health and give them real, freshly baked treats is worth all the work.

Visit their website at http://www.pipsplacenyc.com

Like them on Facebook and Follow them on Twitter at @Pipsplacenyc!

Event Recap: REFRESH, the NYFW Fashion & Beauty Retreat

Beauty Design Events Exploits Fashion Shopping & Acquisitions
Model Constance Zheng relaxing between takes

During the first two days of Fashion Week, February 7th and 8th, the Women’s Mafia and ThatGirlAtTheParty.com hosted, in conjunction with Yellow Sky Agency PR, the premier fashion and beauty lounge. Situated in a sun-lit studio at the Kaufman Music Center, just two short blocks from Lincoln Center and Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, the first bi-annual Refresh Lounge was a relaxing oasis for busy fashion editors, celebrities, bloggers, stylists and key trendsetters to recharge, refresh their look with and discover exciting fashion and beauty brands outside of the tents.

(Spa Owner and Beauty Expert Lora Condon [left] with Keisha from Patrick Wellington Salon [right])

Gretel-Ann of TLC's Next Great Baker

In keeping with the theme “Rejuvenate and Recharge” the guests were greeted with a warm cup of tea from Le Palais Des Thes Tea and a scrumptious cupcake prepared by Gretel-Ann of TLC’s “Next Great Baker” and Cupps Cafe.  As the featured fashion designer, Dore Designs Couture previewed their new evening gown collection. Dore Designs head designer and CEO Dawn Smart was on hand to discuss the line with the fashion editors and bloggers in attendance.

The fortunate guests were then able to enjoy a brow treatment or Aroma-Reiki healing spa treatment from celeb esthetician Lora Condon aka “the Beauty Buster” and author of the book Spa Wars, consult with our Fitness Expert Stacie Smeal, get their hair blown and styled by Keisha from Wellington Hair Spa with products from official hair sponsor Dr. Miracle’s and have makeup touch-ups provided by LiSi Cosmetics makeup artist Nixie Ramirez. DJ Sharri Model provided an upbeat mix of chill and hip hop, further adding to the rejuvenating ambience of the lounge. Guests went home with gift bags featuring Dr. Miracle’s, Body Brite, ID Pop Shop and Magic Hands Skin and Body.

In Dore Designs Couture capsule presentations styled by celeb and Royal stylist Engie Hassan, top models such as Brett O’Conner, Constance Zheng, Myranda Berner and Juliana Harris, modeled some of the glamorous gowns by the famous atelier. Dore Designs is well known for dressing the stars of “So You Think You Can Dance,” Olympic ice dancers and the 44 top professional ballroom dance couples in the world. Featuring hand-painting, dramatic cut-outs, luxurious Italian stretch crepe and genuine Swarovski elements the gowns wowed guests who snapped photos all day long. Engie, who plans on bringing some of the gowns to LA to dress her Oscar clients, noted that the intimate presentation allowed the press and prospective clients to engage with the collection and see the gowns’ detailed artwork up close.

LiSi cosmetics founder Lisa Hill noted: “We loved having our makeup artist Nixie work on both the presentation models and press guests at the lounge, the pictures and personal connections we made at the lounge will last far beyond New York Fashion Week and help us further our reputation as a high fashion makeup brand.”

With 200 fashion editors, bloggers, and other VIP fashion week attendees passing through the lounge,  brands received major fashion week exposure. Social Media also played a major part in the Refresh Lounge with attendees tweeting and instagramming throughout the event.

“Even snowstorm Nemo could not keep the guests away and we did our best to make sure that each visitor to the lounge had a relaxing and fun time right till the very end with blowouts, tea and cupcakes provided till the final minutes,” stated lounge co-producer and co-host, Courtney Henley, Editor-In-Chief of That Girl At The Party, “With the buzz about the venue and the lounge, the plan is to make the Refresh Lounge, a regular Fashion Week fixture and include more brands and amenities each season.  We started small but because of our proximity to the Tents, there are already potential sponsors and exhibitors lnquiring about September.”

“Taking care of guests to the Refresh lounge and helping our sponsors make meaningful connections to the press was the goal of the event,” states co-host Marcy Clark, President of Yellow Sky Agency PR and founder of The Women’s Mafia. “We received feedback from the press afterwards that the spacious, relaxed lounge was the ideal way for them to meet our talented event partners and experience their products and services in a personalized, intimate way.”

For further press information about the Refresh FW2013 lounge sponsors and planning your next Fashion Week event contact: Marcy@yellowskyagency.com

Dore Designs Couture Designer Dawn Smart being prepped for an interview
Celebrity Interviewer Cognac Wellerlane preparing to interview Dawn Smart of Dore Designs Couture
The hair team from Patrick Wellington Hair Spa Using Dr. Miracle's product with guests of the press lounge
Models fresh from the Project Runway show recharged and rejuvenated at the VIP lounge

Models with Women's Mafia fave DJ Sharri Model at the press lounge

Engie live-styling the presentation for Dore Designs Couture
Fitness Expert Stacie Smeal (left) talking wellness and beauty with award-winning esthetician and makeup artist Lora Condon
Designer Dawn Smart with Baker Gretel-Ann and producer Alvin Calo
Stylist Patricia Parenti and TV Interviewer Cognac Wellerlane
Editors visiting the Dore Designs pop up boutique at New York Fashion Week
Models fresh from the pop-up salon by Dr. Miracle's and Patrick Wellington Hair Spa