Levain Bakery opens 1st Lower Manhattan location, launches with new cookie

NOHO, Manhattan (WABC) -- After 25 years in business, Levain Bakery has expanded into Lower Manhattan with its sixth location -- and a new cookie.

The new store opened Wednesday at 340 Lafayette Street, at Bleecker Street, in NoHo, and as far as bakeries go, Levain had an unusual start.

Owners Connie McDonald and Pam Weekes met in a swimming pool at Columbia University while training for a triathlon, and their shared interest turned into a labor of love.

They started baking to fuel their training, and in 1995, they opened a wholesale bread bakery on West 74th Street.

They had decided to make a small batch of their favorite cookies to see if people liked them as much as they did, and the chocolate walnut cookie soon got some company with three more flavors -- and then the lines started forming.

The pair expanded to other locations, but they hope an investment from a private equity company takes them to the next level. They've grown their management team with a plan to spread around the globe.

And with the grand opening of their first Downtown location comes their first new cookie in 25 years -- a brand new concoction called "Two Chip," with two types of chocolate chips and minus the walnuts.

Each cookie is 2 niches high by 4 inches wide and weighs 6 ounces, with a price tag of $4.

But Levain's success isn't just the result of delicious food -- but the friendship that's baked in.

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