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170 E. 110th Street
ABOUT: “Everybody knows everybody... that’s pretty much the whole feel of this neighborhood,” says Brian Ghaw of Savoy Bakery. That’s why hosting local art exhibitions in his East Harlem shop was a nearly effortless process; “the artists came to us,” he explains. Though Savoy Bakery invites customers to experience the “simplicity of great taste,” it also demonstrates the simplicity with which a business can build community through the arts. Ghaw claims that his exhibitions of local art have no tangible effect on his business, but he displays them anyway because they give the neighborhood a feeling of belonging, a sense of community, and offer him a way to give back. Recent exhibitions have included Ella Veres’ photography and prize-winning pieces from a nearby primary school. What's next? "Sculpture would be neat," muses Ghaw. "We haven't done that before."
COMMUNITY VISIONS: First and foremost, Savoy seeks an organization to pick up any unsold products at the end of the day for distribution to charities. "If we don't sell out, we have to throw it out," Ghaw notes. "Consistent food collection for donations to charities" would be a big help. He also hopes to resume holding open mics in the bakery, which he says always drew a large crowd.
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