Cary – Missy and Lionel Vatinet, owners of La Farm Bakery, opened the doors to their new production facility in downtown Cary at 220 West Chatham Street on June 15th. “Our team of bakers have already had their hands in the dough for several weeks, and now we welcome our community to join us as we break bread together in celebration of our newest location,” explained Lionel Vatinet.
La Farm Bakery opened in Cary, NC in 1999 serving 9 handmade European breads and cinnamon buns – and offering “IOU’s” to curious new customers. Word-of-mouth praise fueled La Farm Bakery’s early growth, and in 2009, husband and wife team Lionel and Missy Vatinet, expanded with a café, a bread truck, and began selling breads to all 5 Triangle area Whole Foods Markets.
“It’s time for us to grow so that our bakers – who shape every single loaf by hand – have room to explore new ideas and produce breads to meet the demand of our customers,” explained Master Baker Lionel Vatinet, a three-time James Beard Foundation “Outstanding Baker” semifinalist, who is dedicating more of his time to developing new breads using healthy grains grown and milled regionally and in North Carolina.
With the opening of the Vatinet’s new production facility, they are fulfilling their mission to maximize their bakers’ talents by providing additional space and equipment and further supporting the growth of the local grain industry in North Carolina. This marks the first phase of the development of their new production facility. The new Chatham Street location, designed to give a full view of the bakers in action – mixing, shaping and baking breads by hand – will be open Monday through Saturday from 7am to 5pm and will offer the “grab-and-go” style service of freshly baked breads and pastries that Lionel experienced in the French bakeries of his youth. The coffee and retail offering will increase in the coming months with lattes, cappuccinos and sandwiches. The La Farm Bread Truck will also be on-site Monday through Saturday from 10:30 to 2:30 offering its regular breakfast and lunch items, including sandwiches and more.
- A superior Denmark fabric duct system, which uses no chemicals and circulates air throughout the facility to ensure crust doesn’t form on dough during production. (This product has been awarded international sustainable certifications from Cradle to Cradle and Oeko-Tex Association.)Design elements courtesy of LMHT Associates and numerous friends and talented professional bakers including bakery consultant Michelle Saus
- Ample cooler space to store grains (to preserve and support the freshest product possible)
- Several new proofing coolers for breads to rise 12 to 18 hours (to fully develop depth of flavor and complexity of fermentation) and store large variety of fresh grain
- Specific “lab” space to support extensive work in and experimentation with fermentation, with the intention of creating many new breads, establishing new techniques and increasing grain variety
- Separate, temperature-controlled pastry room to support work with sensitive products (bread bakers require a warmer environment to foster fermentation and proofing of bread than pastry)
The original Preston Corners location will now be able to offer warm breads and pastries throughout the day. As La Farm has greatly expanded their space, they will bake throughout the day. Look for crusty loaves and croissants to be pulled from the oven just in time for breakfast, hot out-of-the oven breads for lunch, and warm baguettes to pick up on your drive home after work. “This is where are heart is! We have grown such a family with our customers here, and look forward to serving them and visiting with them every day as we have for 18 years,” explained Missy Vatinet.
The Vatinet’s are have an additional 5600 feet available to lease in “the Sorrell building.” They are currently recruiting like-minded food and beverage retailers, chefs and restaurateurs for leasing opportunities for this new food destination. “We are overjoyed to be contributing to downtown Cary’s renaissance,” explained Missy Vatinet about their expansion to Downtown which is poised to transform a key corner on Chatham Street.
Upcoming events for Lionel Vatinet and La Farm Bakery:
October 11, TerraVITA Food & Drink, Chapel Hill, NC
La Farm Bakery is owned by Lionel Vatinet – author of A PASSION FOR BREAD: LESSONS FROM A MASTER BAKER (Little, Brown & Co.) – emerged from France’s prestigious “Les Compagnons du Devoir” Guild in 1990 with the distinguished title of Maitre Boulanger, and pledged to devote his life to teaching, sharing and preserving the ancient art and science of bread baking. Vatinet has consulted for many of the most well-known artisanal bread brands in the US, and abroad, and was the founding instructor at San Francisco Baking Institute. He continues to teach professional and home bakers at his bakery and in his home kitchen, and in classes throughout the country. Since he and his wife and partner Missy Vatinet opened La Farm Bakery in Cary, NC in 1999, they have received praise in Food & Wine, Saveur, Our State, Garden & Gun and O Magazine. La Farm Bakery is a realization of Lionel Vatinet’s lifelong dream – a modern bakery that continues the centuries-old baking traditions and techniques, honoring the ordinary yet extraordinary boulangeries that once flourished in every little town in France. At La Farm Bakery they produce over 35 different styles of artisan bread throughout the year for their bakery, area Whole Foods Markets, farmers markets, and for their Bread Truck. La Farm Bakery also ships nationwide. www.lafarmbakery.com