As classmates at the prestigious Institute of Culinary Education (I.C.E.) in New York City, these baking geniuses earned the nickname “Three Tarts.” The moniker stuck even after graduation, and when Marla D’Urso decided to open her Chelsea bakery + boutique in 2006, she knew there were no better pastry chefs to call upon than Sandra Palmer and Kiyomi Toda-Burke.
Marla D'Urso–owner, founder, primary Tart
Marla's background in residential interior design is evident in the selection of housewares and gifts sold at Three Tarts. Ten years of designing homes in both New York City and Vail, Colorado, combined with a love of pastry and a degree from the Institute of Culinary Education, inspired her to bring all of these passions together into one business. Marla pretty much lives at Three Tarts. You'll find her helping customers, working at her desk, washing dishes, fixing displays and obsessively cleaning the fingerprints from the pastry case glass.
Kiyomi Toda-Burke–pastry chef, creative genius, fashion icon Kiyomi is our secret weapon at Three Tarts. After years of working in fashion, Kiyomi has been reborn as a master with a pastry bag. Also an Institute of Culinary Education classmate, Kiyomi brings her fashion sensibility and Japanese work ethic to the table. She has studied and worked under Pichet Ong at Spice Market, Jean-George's Meat Packing District hot spot, as well as under celebrity chef Francois Payard at his flagship patisserie located on Manhattan's upper east side. Kiyomi insures that our treats at Three Tarts look as good as they taste.
Sandra Palmer–pastry chef, kitchen manager, vigilante proofreader
Sandra's attention to detail comes from many years as an editor and proofreader in her past professional life. Thankfully she's now redirected her obsession with making things correct from page to pastry. She moved to New York to attend the Institute of Culinary Education, and went to work under Lincoln Carson (now Corporate Chef for Mina Group, Inc.) producing desserts for NYC restaurants such as Blue Water Grill and Isabella's. Sandra got her plating experience on the dessert line at The Biltmore Room, rated one of the world's best restaurants by Condé Nast Traveler, and spent some time at The Cleaver Company in Chelsea Market as pastry cook producing desserts using organic and sustainable ingredients from local growers.
Marina Brolin–owner, brand creator, sister-in-law
Marina's extensive experience in graphic design has enabled her to turn our concept into a brand that is already well recognized. Founder and principal of Marina Brolin Design, an award-winning graphic design studio, Marina is now focusing her attention on the growth of the Three Tarts identity and her little boy, Ryan. Ryan's recommendation, by the way, is the chocolate hazelnut praline.
Rodney D'Urso - product development, not-so-silent partner
Peter Wojtkunski- visual merchandising, sales, promoter of all things “hot”
The gods of Craig’s List sent us Peter to help round out the small United Nations at our shop and to add some testosterone to the mix. Born and raised in Poland, he is the Eastern European representative of Three Tarts. Past careers as a chef, bartender and high end sales associate make Peter a natural for his position. He is an enthusiastic salesperson (picture a golden retriever puppy that wants to sell you tarts), provides wonderful customer service and can be counted on to make all things beautiful. Peter is also a personal chef, with a repertoire of delicious, European-inspired delicacies that dazzle the eye and the taste buds.