The Deligram is an ode to the artisanal food makers of New York. In February, we asked a few of our favorite couples to share how they spent (and, most importantly, what they ate on) Valentine’s Day, highlighted products we love from Black-owned businesses, and spoke to Jenneh Kaikai of Pelah Kitchen. In this issue, we’re chatting with Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn-based Stephanie Berlin, creator of Wandel.

The Product: A modern take on the traditional Ashkenazi Jewish baked good mandel bread.
The Deli Pick:
The OG, with milk chocolate chips and cinnamon sugar garnish.
How To Buy: Place orders on, and make sure to order by March 10th to get in time for Purim!
Price: $10 (for small bites), and $18 for a full loaf.

Order Wandel

I hail from the film world, and have worked on everything from events and Oscar campaigning to development and finance. Now I’m at a distribution company, heading up PR and marketing. Like so many people, I was furloughed when COVID struck. Honestly, though, even before that, I had been burnt out with the film industry. I was just feeling so frustrated, and wanted something outside of that world. Two of my best friends came to me with this idea to start a business, and the conversation turned to desserts, specifically my mom’s mandel bread, baked with chocolate chips and dusted with cinnamon sugar. She’s been making it and bringing it to family events since I was little, and everyone is obsessed with it.

First I was like, what even is mandel bread? All I knew about it was that it’s a Jewish dessert. But what I learned is that it’s basically a twice-baked cookie, like a biscotti. People have been making it for centuries, all over the world. That really struck me – making something that unifies people. So, the W in Wandel is for worldly – I want it to be a universal baked good. Wandel is baked once instead of twice, so it’s softer than traditional mandel bread – sort of an updated version. I always tell people it’s “softer than a biscotti, but more bountiful than a cookie.”

Slowly, I started putting the fundamentals of the business together: I filed an LLC, I started building a website, I trademarked Wandel, just for fun. But then I met Bob, who worked at a farmer’s market I used to go to on the Upper East Side. I call him my Fairy Godfather. I introduced myself to him, and he suggested I come sell Wandel at the market. This was, like, the Saturday before I launched. I have a tendency to procrastinate, because I’m kind of a perfectionist, but that kind of forced me to just do it. I had some flyers, and banners and stickers printed with the logo, and I was out selling and connecting with customers the next week. 

I go back and forth on what I want, honestly. Some days I daydream about opening a storefront in Brooklyn, I just love it here so much. But it definitely is also a dream to think about Wandel being in markets. Even if they’re just local to New York. Shelsky’s, one of my favorite delis, recently picked up the bags of bites that I sell, and I was so excited. I never thought I was capable of anything like this. 

I would like to find someone to start baking for me so that my time is more open for potential partnerships and to create more of a presence on social media. I’m trying to do this thing every Thursday where I team up with someone I admire like Missy Modell for what I’m calling a “Wandel Chat.” The idea is that we get together on Instagram Live, eat Wandel with a glass of wine or cup of tea, and have a 30 minute chat. I’m selling a product, but simultaneously hoping to create a safe space for people to authentically be themselves. Ultimately, the goal of Wandel, apart from being a yummy dessert, is to promote unification. To remind us that we’re more similar than different. As corny as that sounds, that is the goal. I’d love people to be reminded of that just by walking down the baked goods aisle, you know? 

Greatest Hit: The OG is the best seller, and also my personal favorite. 

How to best enjoy Wandel: I’m very much a texture person, so I prefer eating it frozen, in bed, with a sturdy paper towel underneath. I love the idea of pairing it with red wine for dessert. My friend’s dad who orders it will only pair it with his coffee. I have friends who crumble it over ice cream every night. You know what? Whatever works for them, works for me. 

Favorite restaurants to eat at in NY: I’m from Chicago, and my favorite restaurant – 4 Charles Prime Rib – hails from there. I love their burgers, I love their martinis. There’s a hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant around the corner from me called Bar Bruno and they have this Amish chicken dish on the menu that is divine. I love a bagel and lox from Sables. When I want a healthier Thai dish, I go for Luanne’s Wild Ginger. And I’ll go anywhere with a good shrimp cocktail – my end all be all. 

Food Makers to Follow: From Lucie. Her cakes and her aesthetic are so beautiful, very calm and dreamy. [Editor’s note: Read more about the brand in our Thanksgiving issue.] Dolly Meckler, who has a New York-based challah company Challah Dolly. Her business is so phenomenal and she has answered so many questions for me. She kicks ass.

Order Wandel
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This tip was whispered by:
Marie-Salomé Peyronnel
An enthusiastic selection of stories about food makers, founded by
Anna Polonsky from Polonsky & Friends and Teddy Wolff.

Story by Jamie Feldman.
All photos by Teddy Wolff for The Deligram.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.


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The Deligram · 366 Stockton St Unit 1B · Brooklyn, NY 11206-5966 · USA