Yolanda Goldsack — aka “Grandma Goldsack” — is the petite dynamo that makes Grandma Goldsack’s Bakery and Coffee Lounge known beyond its location on the approach road to Hemlock Farms in Lords Valley. People from all over Pike County, as well as neighboring New Jersey and New York state (some as far as Slate Hill and Port Jervis) come to Grandma’s for delicious, fresh, hard-to-find pastries and breads.
Grandma has been in this location for the last two and one-half years which she runs with her husband Bob Goldsack and two weekend assistants, Maritza Jahn and Azaleyah Felix. It’s hugely popular and there are about 80 people or more on weekend days. In addition, Grandma sells about 50 or 60 of her famous crumb cakes to Junior Zayed of Key Foods in Milford with deliveries twice a week.
Grandma Goldsack says, “Bob and I are a really good team. He’s the brains and I’m the baker. He has always supported my dream.” They’ve been married for 37 years and are the very proud grandparents of 3-year-old twin boys, Adrian and Jude.
Bob does everything on the business end; taking orders, getting product, making deliveries, and especially being the Master of Ceremonies for the little coffee lounge where regulars come for coffee, pastry, and solving the world’s problems. The regulars even have their own coffee mugs with their names on them, done in calligraphy by Grandma whose artwork hangs in the bakery. There are 15 mugs in the china closet and they are responsible for washing them out every day.
“There is still room for more mugs,” Grandma says.
Nature and nurture
Yolanda Goldsack is an interesting combination of a self-taught baker and someone who was trained by Nick Malgieri, the head pastry chef at the former Windows on the World in Manhattan. She also has taken several bread-baking courses at the Culinary Institute of America. She has more than 50 cookbooks, as well as a state-certified kitchen in their home. There is also a small oven at the store for the overflow, but Bob and Yolanda basically bring the baked goods directly from their nearby home in Sunrise Lakes, along with their dog, Zelda, the company mascot who loves bagels.
This is not Grandma Goldsack’s first rodeo. She had a bakery on Route 739 called “A taste of Italy” and sold at various farmers’ markets in the area. Grandma has a signature mission statement which plays out in all of her pastries and breads. She says, “We want to bring everyone back to that place when they were young and went to their favorite bakery. It’s the taste that brings them back. We feel glad when people feel they are back in their hometown bakery.”
Suzanne and Bob Levine bore testament to that when they recently visited Grandma’s. It was not only the taste, but the aroma. Suzanne remarked, “From the minute you walk in, one whiff and you know this is a real old-fashioned bakery. And it only gets better. Everything we bought was sensational.”
Yolanda caters a variety of comfort food from various ethnic communities, especially those who originally came from Brooklyn and the Bronx. She makes authentic Jewish honey cakes, challah, cheese danish, bagels, and bialys, as well as German Apple strudel, and French croissants. She makes genuine Italian cannoli cakes, rum cakes, cannoli, and Sfogliatella.
For St. Patrick’s Day, there is amazingly authoritative Irish Soda Bread.
Even more amazing than the authenticity of these ethnic delights is that fact that
Yolanda Ramirez Goldsack is Puerto Rican and grew up in Hoboken, New Jersey. She is indeed, “every-ethnic” and everyone identifies with this warm, welcoming grandma.
Grandma Goldsack’s bestsellers are the crumb cake, cheese and cherry danish, blueberry muffins, croissants, braided Challah, strudel with apples and raisins, and chocolate rugelach.
She also takes special orders for Thanksgiving and Christmas pies.
They sell hundreds of holiday pies and the orders are already coming in.
They also take other specialty orders.
Regina Hubbard of nearby Nova Care, a loyal customer says, “Grandma Goldsack is always ready to make your dessert fit your family with specialties for diets such as gluten free.”
Yolanda’s signature pastry is Grandma Goldsack’s famous crumb cake which actually is from an old family recipe from another Grandma Goldsack – Bob’s Grandma. They used to go to her house on Sunday, and delight in her crumb cake, so they decided to name the shop after her. And the current Grandma G is continuing the tradition.
“From the minute you walk in, one whiff and you know this is a real old-fashioned bakery. And it only gets better. Everything we bought was sensational.” Suzanne Levine