Who doesn’t love a trip to the bakery? In the Hudson Valley, bakery culture is a complete sensory experience that begins with the smell of freshly baked bread and the sight of just-frosted cinnamon rolls and progresses to the touch of a flaky croissant, the sound of a cupcake liner unwrapping, and finally the taste of that perfect first bite.
At Local Artisan Bakery in Kingston, the senses are everything. Without them, visitors could never delight in treats as varied as linzer tarts with raspberry jam, pecan pie bars that are just sticky enough, and hand pies that ooze with the juices of the fresh fruit inside them.
If you haven’t heard of Local Artisan Bakery yet, don’t be surprised. The shop just opened its brick and mortar location on Broadway in Kingston at the beginning of May. Of course, the brand’s country chic red-and-white logo has been around longer than that, making appearances at farmers’ markets and foodie events throughout the Hudson Valley since 2018.
“We started as a pop-up shop, selling at events, farmers’ markets, and delivering special orders,” explains owner and lead baker Karianna Haasch. A Hudson Valley resident for the past 10 years, Haasch combined her marketing and business development background with her natural knack for baking in March 2018, after finally taking the advice of friends and family who urged her to pursue her own enterprise. Since she knew she’d be starting from square one, she made a few rules for herself from the outset.
Haasch’s commitment to shopping locally and supporting Hudson Valley producers is integral to her business, so much so that she even worked it into her bakery’s name.
“We are so privileged in the Hudson Valley to live among so many passionate farmers and talented makers…yet access to local goods can still be challenging to consumers,” she says. “I want to raise awareness of the bounty of beautiful local products that are available in this area. It’s about creating a sense of community.”
True to her word, she even goes so far as listing all the local farms and producers with whom she collaborates on her website. For a relatively small spot, the bakery sources from quite a number of Hudson Valley makers, including Boice Brothers Dairy, Northwind Farms, Dressel Farms, and Krause’s Chocolates, to name only a few.
Although Haasch always knew she wanted to transition from the pop-up business to the brick and mortar, she admits that the change occurred much sooner than she expected. She chose to take the leap in Kingston as a way to provide a solution for her farmers’ market fans, who often asked her where they could buy her baked treats outside of the market.
“Opening the store was made possible through support from family, the local community, and the business accelerator program I’m participating in — HVADC Farm and Food Funding Accelerator,” she says. The accelerator, which is led by the Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation, aims to help budding businesses get on the fast track to success by providing them with mentorship and training resources.
Now up and running, Local Artisan Bakery stays true to its name with unique recipes that showcase the regional ingredients. Haasch and her team make everything from hand and work in small batches to ensure the highest quality possible. To keep it fresh, she also varies the menu regularly and offers a medley of sweet and savory goods, from bundt cakes to pesto pastry swirls, so there’s a little something for everyone. She also stocks locally made, artisanal goods like honey, salted caramel, maple syrup, and chocolate to supplement bestsellers like scones, custom cupcakes, and gluten-free treats. As for sips to pair with plush cakes and muffins, she brews Iron Coffee Co. beans, which are roasted in Hoosick Falls, and steeps teas by BeauTea Studio, an Etsy business based out of Montgomery. On top of that, there’s also the Local Artisan Gift Collective, which is Haasch’s take on a regional gift shop.
“Our goal is to create a one-stop destination for local gift shopping,” she says.
Looking ahead to the future, Haasch is excited to fine-tune operations at the bakery and expand local product offerings (if any Hudson Valley cheesemakers are reading this, shoot her a message on Facebook). She also hopes to expand the gift collective and work with even more talented makers.
And, yes, she’ll still make appearances at the farmers’ markets.
Local Artisan Bakery
448 Broadway, Kingston