Adobe Stock | tbralnina
After falling in love with baking, Catarina Cowden opened The Little Rye Bakehouse to share her passion with the Hudson Valley.
Catarina Cowden loves Ulster County. A Rosendale resident of eight years, she was charmed by the area while working a variety of jobs at the Outdated Café (Kingston, now closed), Twin Star Orchards (New Paltz), The Mud Club (Woodstock), Ollie’s Pizza, and the Last Bite (both in High Falls).
But there was something special about Kingston, thanks to “the people I’ve met and the community that I’ve grown to become a part of over the years,” says Cowden. “They are supportive and kind and want to see [me] succeed in an authentic way.” As the food service industry came to a halt during the pandemic, Cowden had a lot of time to think about her future. She couldn’t picture a life without baking—her passion—and so she began collaborating with Tubby’s, a beloved bar in Midtown, to curate their food menu. This was the catalyst for the birth of Rosie’s Bakehouse, a micro-bakery named after her grandma. After launching the business, Cowden provided baked goods to a variety of wholesale clients and Ulster County residents, with pop-ups at farmers markets and events.
When a space adjacent to Tubby’s became available for rent, Cowden opened her first storefront. The Little Rye Bakehouse debuted in early January and will act as a headquarters of sorts. Monday through Saturday, Little Rye is closed to the public as Cowden prepares pizzas, Bundt cakes, and hand pies—for Tubby’s, the Kingston Farmers Market, and other clients including The Ridge in New Paltz, Accord Market, and Tivoli General. On Sundays from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Little Rye is open for customers to purchase pies and other pastries, biscuits with seasonal jams, and cookies. Bonus: at the shop, you can sign up for Little Rye’s pie club, which gives members first dibs on exclusive, seasonal pies every other week. Cowden is thrilled with her new venture. “We’ve slowly grown into our own identity. We’re a tiny place, hoping to keep a tiny footprint with a simple intention—to bake for you.”