The heartwarming story of how NCIS star Pauley Perrette and her two best friends created a Southern-style bake shop in Manhattan—a celebration of love and friendship with gorgeous photographs and delicious recipes.
Nestled in the heart of midtown New York is a little shop with a big story. An all-natural bake shop that specializes in Southern baked goods, Donna Bell’s is owned by Pauley Perrette, the actress who plays Abby Sciuto on CBS’s NCIS, and her two best friends, Darren Greenblatt and Matthew Sandusky. It was named in honor of Pauley’s late mother, who is the beloved inspiration for everything they bake.
It all started in 1993, when Pauley met Darren in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen, just blocks away from where the shop is currently located. The two became inseparable friends and Pauley’s Southern mom would welcome Darren to their home with mouthwatering treats. Darren loved this food and soon left his successful career in fashion to open a food truck that sold Southern desserts at the Jersey Shore. Eventually he wanted to expand and turned to Pauley and their friend Matthew—who worked in the Los Angeles food industry—for help. Soon Matthew was on his way to New York to open Donna Bell’s Bake Shop with Pauley and Darren.
With recipes for favorites like buttermilk biscuits, chocolate chip-almond scones, and peach streusel muffins; personal photographs from Pauley, Darren, Matthew, and Donna Bell herself; this is the story how one fantastic bake shop brings warmth and happiness—one treat at a time—to the urban jungle that is New York City.
Pauley Perrette is one of the top Q-rated actors in television and film and is on her twelfth season playing Abby on the #1 TV show NCIS. She is also a producer, director, philanthropist, activist, songwriter, singer, and writer. She is a lifelong civil rights advocate and has been awarded many prestigious humanitarian awards for her efforts. Pauley was raised all over the south but considers Alabama her home town. She studied Sociology, Psychology, and Criminal Science, graduating cum laude. Later, in NYC, she tended bar, modeled, did commercials, voice-overs, music videos and short film work. She later moved to Los Angeles, and has since worked steadily in film and television while continuing her work as a social activist.
Darren Greenblatt has been a creative entrepreneur in the fashion industry for over twenty years. He graduated from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and was awarded the prestigious Critic’s Choice Award. After working with Betsy Johnson and Christian Francis Roth, he started his own design companies, K-Bel-Waer, Girl’sRule, Planet Yum Thing and Stanton Maxwell. Darren's exquisite talent for design and entrepreneurial spirit, coupled with being a lifelong foodie, was the spark that started Donna Bell's Bake Shop.
Matthew Sandusky was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is co-owner and head baker for Donna Bell’s Bake Shop. While getting his Dean’s List degree in Political Science, Matthew was working in and running food establishments for many years. This experience, coupled with his natural talent for creation and his reputation as a master baker and cook led to his expertise in the day to day operations, recipe development and menu creation that helped Donna Bell’s flourish and expand.