Energy Bars get around!

Every once in a while I like to check the metrics for our website, especially now that we are using Squarespace which makes it so easy. The most fun is looking at Referrals which tells you how people found their way to your website.  Of course most are the expected sites like Google, Yahoo, and the local travel sites. But this week I noticed one from a site I hadn't seen before called AthleteFood.com.

Years ago, in 2008, we got a call from Melissa Wagenberg Lasher at Runners World who had tried our Energy Bars and wanted to print the recipe in the magazine. Later it was included in the Runner's World Cookbook.  Now it seems that our Energy Bar recipe has resurfaced in a new food blog for athletes. 

I started making these energy bars in 1975 when I was the baker at the Wildflour Bakery/Cafe. I brought them to The Bakery when we opened in 1981 and we still make them every day. If my math is correct we have served over 100,000 energy bars over the past 40 years!  Originally I got the recipe from a collective bakery in Rochester called the Blessed Thistle. 

If you haven't tried an Energy Bar from The Bakery please stop in. They are healthy and full of natural goodness. Almonds, cashews, dates, apricots, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, coconut, sesame tahini, honey, and vanilla. According to the Athlete Food blog they are "the only bars I've ever had that fill me up for three or four hours". 

 

 

Local Ingredients at The Bakery

Cooking at The Bakery yesterday I realized it was really mid summer. Almost everything in the case had locally grown ingredients. Sesame String Beans, Broccoli Crunch Salad, Sauteed Summer Squash, Cucumber Salad, local Lettuce in all our sandwiches, the Eggplant I was grilling for our Purple People Eater Sandwich, the Basil in the Sun Dried Tomato Pesto. Next week Kale Caesar Salad and soon we'll have real homegrown tomatoes for all our sandwiches and salads. For dessert the case is full of local blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and rhubarb.

Much of our produce is grown and cared for by Jerry Nuzzo. Jerry is retired from a lifetime of owning Chez Joey, the iconic New Paltz pizza restaurant. Way before all of us discovered "local produce" Jerry was already growing his own tomatoes, eggplants, basil, parsley, zucchini, broccoli, peppers, and lettuce for his restaurant. If you ordered an eggplant parm hero at Chez Joey in the summer you were getting an eggplant that Jerry grew. Even the pizza sauce was made from tomatoes that he grew and canned for the restaurant. He didn't do it to follow a trend. He's Italian and he lived in the country and that's how his father did it before him.

Jerry is well into his 70's now, but he still grows his fruit and vegetables and that is what your getting at The Bakery. He even grows the flowers  that go out on the tables. 

 

Halloween Proposal at The Bakery

Halloween was amazing last night!!! Great pumpkins, free food, music, and lots of people in wild costumes. But it was really special for Kyle and Janice who got engaged at The Bakery. Kyle proposed by carving a pumpkin and entering it in the contest. When Janice saw it there was Kyle down on one knee. The pumpkins will be up through the weekend and there is a photo of every pumpkin on our website.

Update: Kyle and Janice got married this summer and sent us this photo. Congratulations!

More Reasons to Shop Local!

There has been much talk lately about local businesses vs chain stores. It's true that both can create jobs, but there is more to it than that. Here are just a few former Bakery employees who have taken what they learned here and started their own business. The benefits of shopping local resonate exponentially. Anna Roberts-cake decorator went on to start Something Sweet Dessert Cafe in Middletown, Justine Leger-chef went on to start Bridge Creek Catering and Cafe in New Paltz, Ursula Woinoski-baker and our first manager went on to start the Wine Hutch in Kingston, Marcella Robin-cake decorator went on to start M. Robin Cake Design in Portland, Oregon, Jarek Wysocki-bakery intern went on to start Babycakes Cafe in Poughkeepsie, Jason White-counter staff went on start Segway of the Hudson Valley, Amara Projanski-cake decorator went on to start Chronogram. And there are many more successful people and job creators who have started their careers at The Bakery and all of our wonderful New Paltz businesses. Shop local - it's an investment in our future.

Simit - A delicious new treat from Turkey

simit

When my son Isaac returned from five months in Istanbul, and  began working at The Bakery, he was happy to find that he was able to speak Turkish to some of our customers. It turns out that there are quite a few Turkish students at SUNY New Paltz and they like The Bakery. I asked him what the most popular bakery food in Turkey was and he said Simit.

Simit is something like a bagel but softer inside, a little sweet, and covered in sesame seeds. It's sold by street vendors all over Turkey. It was easy to find recipes on the internet and even You Tube videos showing how to make it (I love watching professional bakers smoking cigarettes while they bake). When Turkish people living abroad are asked what food they miss most they often say Simit.

We started making Simit and found that it sells out every day. It's great plain or with any of our homemade cream cheese spreads. The Turkish students love it and feel welcome in New Paltz and our American customers are happy to try something new.