creative direction, brand strategy, positioning, naming, brand identity, packaging, marketing assets, interior consulting, styling


Banker turned baker, Umber Ahmad was in a position to build a bakery with the support of famed restauranteur Tom Colicchio. She had a killer cake recipe, a brilliant entrepreneurial mind, and all the ingredients for a uniquely branded opportunity. 

Knowing she’d launch within an oversaturated market, it was imperative that this endeavor start with an in-depth understanding of its competitive landscape. With the cupcake craze delivering "happiness" and the french patisseries serving up "romance," this delectable journey needed a position that was unique and could deliver a promise like no other.

*photography by Stephen Kent Johnson + Vanessa Rees

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MAH-ZE-DAHR Bakery transports the curious on a delectable journey of mystery and desire.

In Urdu, the word mazedar describes the taste essence of food, its flavor, and the magic that makes it delicious. The word captures the life of a taste experience, unique to each person but cohesive in its stories. It represents something that one cannot describe but wants to experience over and over again.


Creating a physical location for MAH-ZE-DAHR Bakery required the same level of detail and care as the initial development of the brand. Anchored in mystery and desire, this was not a 'kid in a candy store' experience. Inspiration came from hotel lobbies and wine bars.


Happily situated in the heart of New York City's West Village, MAH-ZE-DAHR Bakery opened its doors as a highly anticipated destination, garnering attention from The New York Times, Eater, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Food and Wine, Domino, and The New Yorker. As a brand, MAH-ZE-DAHR has successfully partners with Jet Blue Mint, William Sonoma, Food52, Club Monaco, Loews Hotels, and Tom Colicchio's 'wichcraft.