2. Allan’s Bakery
Allan’s Bakery is one of the longest-standing Caribbean businesses in Little Caribbean, serving Caribbean and West Indian products since 1961. The bakery’s namesake opened the business with his wife Gloria Smith over six decades ago, starting with a small oven and selling baked goods out of his vehicle in 1958. Allan was a native of St. Vincent and began working at hospitals after moving to the U.S., while Gloria grew up in Panama and started out at a typewriter company. The bakery’s first storefront was at 425 Saratoga Avenue, though it later moved to 1109 Nostrand Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens after its explosion in popularity.
The bakery is known for its breads, including coconut bakes, pan bread, tennis rolls, and butter flaps. Popular pastries include currant rolls, guava and passionfruit turnovers, cassava pone, and tamarind balls. Cakes range from fruit/blake cake to nearly a dozen sponge cakes to carrot cakes. On the more savory side, the bakery sells bake and codfish, Trinidadian doubles, pholourie (fried split pea and flour dough balls), and buss-up shot (a buttery flatbread).
Scoops in Prospect Lefferts Gardens is a Caribbean-owned ice cream parlor and vegetarian store that has long been recognized as one of the neighborhood’s important cultural centers. The shop’s owner, Tony Fongyit, has run the shop for nearly four decades on Flatbush Avenue. A native of Trinidad, Fongyin started out with 24 flavors inspired by his adherence to Rastafarianism, which advocates a diet called ital that avoids meat and dairy. Scoops survived a contentious eviction attempt in 2019 after his rental agreement changed from a yearslong lease to month-to-month.
Entrees include rice and pigeon peas, tofu with a pumpkin or cashew sauce, curry potato with roti, and coo-coo cornmeal with okra polenta. The shop also offers a veggie burger and a “sunshine burger” made with sunflower seeds, brown rice, and vegetables. Flavors have included grape nut, soursop, and butter pecan, and the spot also serves wheatgrass juice.