Sarabeth's Kitchen

This is how it all started.

orange peel photo Pia Tryde

Pia Tryde

Oranges, apricots and pineapple blended together.

oranges via Eddie Ross

Eddie Ross

In a kitchen on Manhattan's Upper West Side, a barefoot woman wearing rimless glasses and no makeup, flips her hair away from her face.


She is constantly in motion.

prep Her kitchen is handsome but not high tech. The stove is a Magic Chef, and the refrigerator is not Subzero.


et a part ca

This apartment is her sanctuary that she shares with her husband Bill. The floors are warm polished wood, some plants punctuate the bare white walls, her Burmese cat, Little Guy, whom she calls "my dear, dear friend," naps on the  couch.


When she hears music, it touches her heart, hence her Steinway grand piano that she has lovingly named "Emily." I love that!

The effect of it is all very calming.

Lotus-china by Joanna Henderson

Joanna Henderson

 Meanwhile, back in her kitchen, using an old family recipe, this woman is busy making jam & creating an empire.

edward pond

Edward Pond

Her name is Sarabeth Levine and today, in the heart of Manhattan there is a destination that is beloved by discriminating dessert lovers called Sarabeth's Bakery. 

Sarabeth Levine

Sarabeth Levine

Sarabeth began her business in 1980 by making and selling her Orange-Apricot Marmalade. In 1981, She and husband Bill, opened a tiny bakery-kitchen to make and sell her preserves and baked goods. A few tables and chairs were soon added, first for breakfast and then for lunch.

 The little store, with its unique charm and wholesomely delicious products became an instant success & an empire.

chelsey street bakery

Fast forward 20 years. Today, Sarabeth's jams and preserves are sold in her many restaurants, gourmet shops & specialty stores around the world. Bill Levine sees the evolution of Sarabeth’s Kitchen from jam shop to gourmet-food brand as “just putting one foot in front of the other.”

Her jams and bakery products are also sold through her website, by mail order and in her bakery at the Chelsea Market.

Did you know...


Sarabeth trained Meryl Streep on baking and served as her hand double in "It's Complicated", much of which was filmed in her Chelsea Bakery. I loved that scene & that handsome Steve Martin! 

Meryl Streep & Steve Martin on the set of It's Complicated via bon appetite.

bon app├ętit

Here is what I'm really excited about though...Sarabeth is going to teach me how to bake!

photo: edward pond

Edward Pond

Move out of the kitchen Gracie because Sarabeth's first cookbook will soon be my daily dog-eared companion.

You don't even know how excited I am about this! I fell in love with Sarabeth's Blood Orange Marmalade back when I worked for Williams-Sonoma. Visit them to see her book-signing and demonstration schedule!



When Collier was a little boy, he used to eat it with a spoon straight from the jar. Thought it was the best thing his mommy ever made...then he learned to read labels. A compliment to you Sarabeth.


It is described by Food and Wine Magazine as being "in a class by itself." My son would agree. Sarabeth preserves have won numerous awards, most notably in 1996, Sarabeth won the esteemed James Beard Pastry Chef of the Year award. Sarabeth & Bill Levine

Sarabeth & Bill Levine

Sarabeth & Bill still live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and Water Mill, New York. They have four children and 12 grandchildren.

And if all of this isn't enough to keep her constantly in motion, this "goddess of bakedom" has started a blog, face book & twitter page!

click to visit Sarabeth's blog!

"Some friends asked me why I am starting this blog, and the answer came to me in a flash, because I want to teach everyone how to be a good baker." Sarabeth

Thank you Sarabeth. I'm pre-heating the oven!

click to visit Sarabeth's website!


Teresa at Splendid Sass said...

Thank you for sharing this story, Lisa. I will be sure to pick up her cookbook. Her marmalade is fabulous.
Have a nice day.

GrannySmithGreen said...

This makes me want to pull out the canner, wash the jars and start simmering something. I can almost smell it! It's always beautiful and inspiring visiting your blog, Lisa! Thank you!

Jane K. Schott said...

How wonderful is this post. It is filled iwth inspiration, well laid out and an enjoyable read. Well done!

A Gift Wrapped Life said...

You alway s tell the best stories Lisa. Not as familiar with this product here in Canada but her cookbook looks fabulous. Great cover shot and she looks like the cook everyone wants to hang out with. XO

EntertainingMom said...

I was going to comment that I worked at Williams-Sonoma 20 years ago... I had just graduated from college and was looking for "a real job" and we sold Sarabeth's... it was fabulous!

What a beautiful and inspiring post!

A Country Farmhouse said...

Yum, yum, yum! Her cookbook is a must have! Can't wait to get one...and also, will look for some of her orange marmalade. I love orange marmalade on fresh baked muffins. Mmmmm, good.

Irene said...

I loved that film and the bakery scenes were so beautiful and heartwarming. Now I know where they originally came from! Thanks for the wisdom and beauty.

Renee Finberg said...

sara beths is the best!
i don't know if her place is stil in the wales hotel on e 93 and madison.
but that is where i was introduced to her FOOD.
now i just brunch at the one on central park south.

nice tribute.

Love Where You LIve said...

That was fun! Love the photos -- and, like you, I fell for that Meryl/Steve bakery scene big time. -s

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Perfect finale to the perfect story about such an amazing lady. I know I've seen her jams @ TJ Maxx & Homegoods. I now know to grab them when I see them. I loved this post Lisa!

Wishing you the perfect weekend ahead.

Hugs x Deb

Tamara Matthews-Stephenson said...

Lisa - thanks for a glimpse of this wonderfully talented woman...gabby goes to school just across the street and we've spent many an afternoon on homework and tea over the years, but I never knew this much about her until now. I have a renewed respect! xo tamara

b said...

Not only would the food be a feast but the pictures and dialogue is a feast for the senses.


Everything Coastal said...

What a wonderful blog post, so glad that I caught it flying by in my twitter stream today. I can simply taste those oranges right through my screen!

Thanks Lisa!