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All You Need Is Peace, Love & Dough

lisa costa

Like many kitchens during lockdown, Queens-based baker Lisa Costa’s was filled with dough and flour. But Costa’s bread making wasn’t exactly a quarantine hobby. She was following her dream of opening a baking business for a good cause.

“I had always wanted to start a business, but it was never the right time, and if I’m being honest, I also think I was nervous to take the leap,” said Costa. So when she was laid off from Planned Parenthood due to COVID in spring 2020, Costa returned to her baking roots.

Before her work in social justice, Costa graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and worked in the baking industry for nine years. When creating Peace, Love & Dough, a woman and queer-owned business, Costa combined her passions for baking and activism.

“I started with a bake sale called ‘Bakers Against Racism’ and people really seemed to enjoy what I was doing, so I continued on a weekly basis,” said Costa. From that first bake sale, Peace, Love & Dough grew into a broader, door-to-door delivery system in Queens.

two loaves of sourdough bread

Having lived between Queens and Long Island for the past 14 years, Costa wanted to give back to the community. Most of what she raises she uses to help local Queens organizations.

She works closely with Together We Can Community Resource Center Inc., a 501(c)(3) volunteer-led non-profit that services the residents of Jackson Heights, Elmhurstt and Corona, Queens with the mission to empower New York residents by linking them to community resources and providing educational opportunities.

“It was a pleasure to be able to deliver something that would put a smile on the faces of my neighbors during such a hard time,” she said.

The give-back mission of her business is how, in fact, she selected the name Peace, Love & Dough. “I have been fortunate enough to donate a bit to local organizations that have done amazing work during COVID, so it really felt like we were spreading some love,” explained Costa.

Each week, Costa publishes a menu and order form on her website and Instagram page. The rotating menu includes sourdough country loaves, morning buns, sourdough focaccia and weekly specials.

As the number of orders rose, Costa recently sought out a new partnership with Joey Stallings, an experienced NYC-based pastry chef. The partnership has allowed the business to grow beyond door-to-door.

morning buns

As of late January 2022, they started supplying Ralph’s Coffee – Ralph Lauren’s coffee shop chain – with croissants and morning buns. “We would love to expand our wholesale outposts and perhaps one day open a retail location,” said Costa.

But even as the business expands, Costa is confident that Peace, Love & Dough will not lose sight of its goal to help others locally.

“We want to continue to serve the people of Queens and share our goodies in a way that is approachable and attainable for the average person, while hopefully continuing to find ways to give back to that same community.”


Mia Salas

Mia Salas is a freelance writer and soon-to-be graduate of Princeton University. She has written stories about parenting, lifestyle and books. She has also interned with Meta, where she'll be joining post-graduation as a full-time Content Designer. In her free time she writes fiction, bakes sweet treats and helps run her family's small bagel business in NJ.


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