Volume 20, Number 36 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | Feb. 1 - 7 , 2008

Downtown Express photos by Tequila Minsky

The last of Umanoff & Parsons’ Tribeca pies waited for delivery on Sunday, the bakery’s last day in the neighborhood. Owner Simon Seaton, below, is going to move into a larger East Harlem space with better rents.

Bye, bye Miss Tribeca Pie

By Tequila Minsky

Boxes of mud cake, peach pie, coffee cake, even broccoli and cheddar quiche, were stacked ready for delivery, the last vestige of Umanoff & Parsons as the guts of this long-time industrial neighbor were yanked out of the Tribeca bakery Sunday.

The smells of fresh baked goodies have tempted and tantalized surrounding neighbors since 1981.  

“Our baked goods are all natural, kosher  (not parve), too,” said Simon R. Seaton, the bakery’s owner. He said they stopped using butter last year, complying with no trans fat regulations. The wholesale operation, which also sold retail to walk-ins, is moving to East Harlem.

Longtime Tribeca resident Matt Clark was walking his dog and spotted the workers moving the last of the equipment out Sunday.

“For years, I would shop here for Thanksgiving or Christmas. My favorites were pumpkin, pecan, or three-berry pie. I’ll miss them,” he lamented.

”There have been a lot of changes in this neighborhood,” Seaton said in voicing his hope that his customers from the neighborhood will follow him Uptown to buy his cakes, pies and quiches.

Seaton took over the business 12 years ago from the original owners and said higher rent, a need for more space, and the changing neighborhood contributed to his leaving 467 Greenwich St.  

“I needed more space to grow my business,” he said. “The neighborhood has changed from mixed use to residential.”

The rest of the five-story Tribeca building is a residential co-op and Seaton said he was not sure what would replace the bakery’s ground floor and basement space.

He said his landlord has been accommodating. The move to East Harlem has been anticipated for quite some time. In a Downtown Express interview two years ago, Seaton said he expected to move in six months.

Wife and husband Jane Umanoff and Bo Parsons started the business in their Upper West Side apartment in 1977 before opening in Tribeca four years later.

Seaton is building a new facility on Park Ave. near E. 121st St. and sold the bakery’s well-worn ovens and other equipment at an auction last week. A Long Island bagel factory bought the freezers, which Seaton and his workers packed up on Sunday.  

“Our new building is green and we need equipment that specifically fits into the new space,” he said. “In the meantime we’re baking in a commercial bakery in the Bronx.”

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