It’s been an interesting 12 months for Joel and Jen Singer, the husband-and-wife owners of Barry’s Buns. After being forced to close their location at the Bourse Food Hall in Philadelphia because of the pandemic, and with tourism non-existent and festivals and live events canceled for all of 2020, they started taking bulk orders for deliveries. They began participating at the Horsham and Upper Merion Farmers Markets throughout the spring, summer, and fall. They put more focus on their Chestnut Hill location. And now, they’re trying to make 2021 a better year for the business, opening a brand new Barry’s Buns location down the shore at 6107 New Jersey Avenue in Wildwood Crest.
The newest outpost, which will be located just a few blocks from the beach, will open to the public on Friday, May 7th, the start of Mother’s Day Weekend.
The new 900 square-foot space will feature the same menu of that at the Chestnut Hill location, which is tucked into a 160 square-foot space inside the Market at The Fareway. The Wildwood Crest location will include all of the delicious bites found at the original location, along with some new menu items such as coffee, Nitro Coffee, and made-to-order breakfast sandwiches. Joel, whose middle name is Barry, handles everything in the kitchen and back of house, while Jen handles the business side and other day-to-day work.
“A great opportunity arose for a commercial space, and we knew it was an opportunity that we couldn’t ignore,” said Joel, who opened his original Barry’s Buns in 2016. “The location found us. Wildwood has been our vacation spot since both of our childhoods, and Jen’s parents even own there. It’s been a dream of mine to own a bakery at the beach.”
Joel was born a baker. He started his own cheesecake business when he was 14 years-old. During high school, he took first place in a culinary competition, winning a scholarship from Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) to attend Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. He graduated with a degree in Pastry Arts, and was most recently the Regional Bakery Associate Coordinator of Whole Foods Market for the Mid-Atlantic Region. His formal career in pastry began at the Pennsylvania Convention Center before moving to Assistant Pastry Chef at The Rittenhouse Hotel at Lacroix. Joel and Jen, who have been together for 21 years and married for 15 this July, have three daughters.
Barry’s Buns’ menu features a number of sticky buns, sticky bun bread pudding, cinnamon roll bites, babka loaves, Jewish apple cake, chocolate-chip pound cake, crumb cake, butter cake, 10 different waffle options, a wide variety of cookies, brownies and more.
“It was always a lifelong dream for Joel to have his own bakery, and sticky buns were a childhood favorite of his,” said Jen. “He always talks about the times he and his dad would bring home sticky buns for the family. This business is family for him. It’s a family thing for all of us. And that’s what you see at the shore. Families coming together to enjoy their time together, and we can’t wait to be able to insert our delicious treats into their memories.”
Additionally, to try and have a little added fun with the opening, Joel and Jen are painting rocks with the Barry’s Buns logo to leave around the Wildwood Crest neighborhood for others to discover as a type of scavenger hunt. Customers who find and return a rock to Barry’s Buns can trade it in for a complimentary half-dozen box of freshly baked sticky buns. They plan on doing the same thing in Chestnut Hill to celebrate the business’s five-year anniversary. They will “plant” about 20 rocks near each location later this spring.
Marilyn is a freelance writer covering the food and drink scene of South Jersey. You can find more of her writing on Philly Grub and NewsBreak.