In the Bronx, Jamaican Patties That Are ‘Worth the Wait’


A report by Kaya Laterman for the New York Times. Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.

On days when the wind is blowing south, the aroma from the Kingston Tropical Bakery hits you almost as soon as you exit the No. 2 train at 225th Street in the Bronx.

The constant flow of people in and out of the shop signals the popularity of this 47-year-old storefront in Wakefield, largely known for its Jamaican patties and its coco bread, a starchy, sweet, white concoction.

“We haven’t changed much,” the manager Caroline Sinclair said. “It’s the consistency that has made us last this long.”

John and Joyce Levi, Ms. Sinclair’s brother-in-law and sister, opened the business, at 226th Street and White Plains Road, in 1970. It was the first bakery to cater to Caribbeans in what was then a largely Jewish, Irish and Italian neighborhood. Now Wakefield has plenty of businesses that focus on its more prominent West Indian population.

“We’ve never advertised,” Ms. Sinclair said, “but business has been good since the store opened.”

A beef patty was 65 cents when she started working there 30 years ago. Now it costs $2.25, or $23 for a dozen.