Annie Block -- Interior Design, 6/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
From the day he opened New York's City Bakery, 16 years ago, Maury Rubin has been ecologically conscious. The muffins, pastries, and scones on his menu are prepared from locally grown, organic ingredients. And the nearly 100 pounds of kitchen scraps produced each day are picked up and composted.
"As a chef, my decision-making is closely tied to the environment," he explains. "It was time to connect environmentally sound food to the venue it's sold in." With that, his all-green bakeshop, Birdbath, was born.
Built in just five weeks for $10,000—with the assistance of City Bakery general manager Sara Weeks and carpenter David Schutz—the 240-square-foot storefront is a showroom of the sustainable, the re-purposed, and the found. Flooring is cork. Walls are covered in sky-blue recycled polyester, farmhouse-red milk paint, or wheat board trimmed with a non-VOC composite derived from sunflower seeds. A slab of marble is a stone-yard scrap. The Depression-era cash register was discovered in the basement.
The display table in front of the register has a bamboo-laminate top and a base that's actually insulation made from recycled blue jeans, folded into a 4-foot-high stack. "I was going for something along the lines of Joseph Beuys," says the baker, who's exploring his next vocation: sculpture.