A little over a year ago, Karianna Haasch was working in a corporate office, occasionally baking for her friends and coworkers when she had the time. People often said her baked goods were good enough to sell, but she never imagined she ever would.
Fast forward to now — Haasch just opened Local Artisan Bakery last weekend, a small-batch, locally sourced shop at 448 Broadway.
The operation started as a pop-up, appearing only at festivals, events, and farmer’s markets and the bakery quickly gained a strong following. Haasch soon realized that her loyal customers didn’t want to wait for the next event to get their sugar fix. She knew she needed a brick-and-mortar location so she could offer her customers a way to get her creations any day of the week.
“It’s difficult to have to be in a different location every week,” said Haasch, “it’s harder for your customers to follow you, and … a lot of customers would say, ‘Hey, where are you located?’ That’s the number-one question that people kept asking me over and over again. This all kind of came from answering that question.”
They create all their baked goods in small batches to ensure the quality of the final product. According to Haasch, “you can better understand what’s going on and how your environment is affecting a batch that day. You can make adjustments if you need to in order to deliver the best possible product. Whereas if you’re making things in these huge batches, it’s much harder to have that level of quality control and that attention to detail.”
The bakery also takes the “local” part of their title seriously, using as many local ingredients as possible. Of course, there are things they cannot get locally, like lemons and cane sugar, but everything that can be locally sourced, is. Haasch says her goal for the bakery is to have 75 percent of ingredients used come from local suppliers. Customers can also see a full list of their suppliers on their website. Haasch uses her own personal garden for fruits, vegetables and herbs.
“I really believe in supporting the other small people in our community,” said Haasch. “I want this to be more than just me … When you support your local farmer, you’re helping them pay their bills … It’s not just about making a product; it’s about building a community around you as well and supporting your local community.”
But that’s not the only way Local Artisan Bakery is giving back to their community. They are also launching a local artisan gift collective, featuring a designated area of their store where customers can buy other handmade local goods. This will help other small businesses get the crucial exposure they need to stay afloat.
While having a bakery in Kingston that offers handmade treats made with local ingredients is nice enough, it doesn’t hurt that the creations are also edible works of art. One look at Local Artisan Bakery’s Instagram page, and it’s clear that Haasch and her team have both a passion and a knack for making delicious, beautiful creations. “I’m an artist at heart … and we’re about the art of baking,” said Haasch. “This just happens to be my art. As an artist, you get inspired by all kinds of things … I use a lot of inspiration from flowers and organic shapes.”
The bakery’s mantra is, “new flavors every week.” As restaurants change their menus with the seasons, Local Artisan Bakery also changes the pastries they offer on a weekly basis.
“I know a lot of people in this area who are super supportive,” said Haasch, “and it just feels like the right city to be doing what I’m doing.”