The gift shops are located in our monasteries.
The Nuns' Gift Shop
The nuns' gift shop is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12 pm to 4 pm.
The air lock is open from 8 am to 8 pm everyday. Cash or check required for air lock purchases.
The Monks' Gift Shop
The monks' gift shop is closed until further notice.
Both of our monastic communities are self-supporting and receive no financial support from the national church. We are sustained financially through charitable donations and the work of our own hands. The communities, since our founding, have worked in liturgical arts, producing icons, and publishing liturgical books and music. In addition, the Monks are world famous for breeding German Shepherds and our dog training programs; whereas, the Nuns are known for their heavenly cheesecakes.
Mindful that we hold all things in common, we work to support ourselves through the work of New Skete Kitchens, New Skete Puppy Program and the New Skete Dog Training and the Liturgy & Arts publications. We interact with the wider community, in accord with our way of life.
Our primary focus is to work continually to transform ourselves in the light of the Gospel. To follow the path that leads us to become the person God wants us to be, we have chosen to live this life together. We strive for a balance in common and private prayer and work that is simply the work of daily living.
“The cheesecakes made by the Nuns of New Skete are, dare we say, divine? They give new meaning to the term heavenly.” So read the opening to a recent article in Life@Home magazine regarding our cheesecakes. We were founded in 1969 and initially earned income to maintain our way of life by making church vestments and religious icons. When Sr. Magdalene (a wonderful baker) joined us, we expanded our work to include cheesecake production. In 1975, we fine-tuned the original recipe that became the cornerstone for New Skete Kitchens. With capital raised from the sale of the cheesecakes, we upgraded our equipment, and in 1983 built the streamlined bakery of today. The high-ceilinged room was designed by an architect with green-energy efficiency in mind. The bakery has a spacious, open feeling and is comfortable in size, temperature and noise levels.
Our cakes provide the primary funding for the nuns' monastery and are available via our on-line store, at our gift shop, and various locations throughout the Capital Region of New York and southern Vermont. There are 14 cheesecake flavors: Amaretto & Cream, Apple Walnut, Chocolate, Chocolate Amaretto, Classic New York (gluten-free) Deluxe (traditional NY-style), Irish Cream, Kahlua, Key Lime, Raspberry Chocolate, Raspberry Ripple, White Chocolate, plus Pumpkin which is produced seasonally in Autumn, and Eggnog, available in the winter months. We are also known for our brandied fruitcakes. Click here to see our brochure.
Three sisters and four employees typically bake twice a week following a highly efficient two-day process. We use 30lb blocks of cream cheese, and an amazing mixer that tips to pour the batter that saves us from heavy lifting.
Some of the cakes have their flavoring added to the batter (chocolate) while others (raspberry) have the flavoring swirled into the top by hand creating an aesthetically-pleasing ripple effect. Apples, walnuts, key lime zest, or white chocolate are added depending on the cake’s contents.
The cookie crumb crust is spread in the pans via an apparatus we call The Crumber which was adapted for us by an engineer and works much like a potter’s wheel. The batter is poured into the depositor, which dispenses the batter into the now-crusted baking pans and balanced to a pre-determined weight. The cakes are baked in a revolving five-shelf oven that holds over one hundred cakes each baking round. There is enough time between morning and evening prayer services for the cakes to cool and to be unmolded for cutting the next day. A slicing machine places dividers between each of the sixteen slices of the frozen cake. Cakes are then sealed and boxed ready for sale or shipment.
We do retail and wholesale distribution, as well as working with local schools, churches, and other NFP groups in their fund-raising.