At age 22, Uwe Deising, the youngest certified master baker in Germany, dreamed of showcasing his culinary skills in America. A year later, in 1960, he set about making his dream a reality by immigrating to America and living on Long Island. A classified ad in the New York Times, for a bakery for sale, eventually led him to Kingston, where he purchased Ketterer’s Bakery.
Uwe and his wife, Ingrid, operated the bakery under the Ketterer name until 1980, when they made the switch to Deising’s Bakery. That same year they purchased their second location, and soon after purchased the two adjacent buildings to expand the restaurant and begin their catering business.
“Believe it or not, our hard rolls were the thing that put us on the map,” says their son Eric Deising, president of Deising’s Bakery. What makes them so special? “The way they are cooked…and what we mix in them. The secret ingredient is eggs.”
Once named the “Best Retail Bakery in America” by Bakery Production and Marketing magazine (now Modern Baking magazine), Deising’s now offers more than 400 varieties of freshly baked bread, pastries, cakes, rolls, pies, cookies, desserts, cupcakes, seasonal treats, and more through their retail and wholesale businesses.
The Uptown location on North Front St. is their main hub and has the largest selection of goods. It also has a full-service restaurant that’s open for breakfast and lunch, and two catering rooms. The Midtown location on Broadway is their satellite store, and is popular for its breakfast goods — donuts, danish, bagels, rolls, coffee, and “lots of egg sandwiches,” says Eric.
Although Uwe and Ingrid retired in 1999, Deising’s is still very much a family business. Both second- and third-generation Deisings are involved in the bakery: Eric’s brother Norman is vice president; Eric’s wife, Petula, serves as secretary; and Peter Jr., son of Eric’s other brother Peter Sr., learned the bakery business by working at various bakeries across the country. Today he helps run the family business as a pastry manager and one of the main decorators. The family regularly gives back: The bakery donates goods to the American Cancer Society, the Alzheimer’s Association, and local schools, and donates daily to local soup kitchens. “We’re passionate about what we do and love being a part of the community,” says Eric.