Dan and Carrie Moore and their 2- and 9-year-old sons were enjoying their twice-annual outing to the State Farmers Market on Saturday.
Their first stop: Annelores German Bakery, one of several bakers who set up shop every weekend at Raleighs sprawling produce market.
This is where we start every time, said Dan Moore of Durham, as he nibbled an apple cranberry kuchen.
It makes our kids happy, Carrie Moore added, as the boys enjoyed a cookie.
The Triangle boasts more than 30 farmers markets. From Siler City to Smithfield, these markets offer more than just seasonal produce, grass-fed beef and free-range chicken. Now shoppers can buy hearth-fired artisan bread, pies, cakes, cookies and even gluten-free baked goodies while picking up asparagus and strawberries.
Farmers markets have even been launching pads for some bakers to open their own brick-and-mortar stores; Scratch and Loaf started at local markets and now has stores in Durham while continuing to sell at the Durham Farmers Market.
Meet three of the bakers who proffer their wares at local farmers markets:
Annelores German Bakery
There is an Annelore behind Annelores German Bakery. Shes the heart of the operation, said her husband, Norbert Gstattenbauer.
Annelore Gstattenbauer grew up in the restaurant business in Germany. In fact, her family there still owns a bed and breakfast, restaurant and a brewery that has been in operation since 1665.
The couple came to the U.S. almost 30 years ago, settling in the Triangle five years ago. They started selling German pastries at the State Farmers Market, thinking they would parlay that into a catering business. But Norbert Gstattenbauer said the bakery business grew so fast that they gave up on the catering. Now they sell at four local markets, offering a variety of German delicacies such as kuchen and pretzels.
Gstattenbauer, who sells his wifes pastries, said he loves being at the farmers market. Like a farmer who fields a customers queries about how he grows his vegetables, Gstattenbauer can have those same interactions. If someone wants to know how our pastry is made, I can talk to them, he said.
Annelores German Bakery sells at the State Farmers Market, the Western Wake Farmers Market, the Midtown Farmers Market and the Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market. For more information, check out the bakerys Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/IRux9i
The Cookie People
April Morey, 41, was a single mom in need of extra money when she began selling baked goods at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh about seven years ago. Back then, the market had few bakers. She would set up a card table and sell a little bit of everything, including pound cakes, quick breads, cookies and cakes. Eventually, she returned to the corporate world and gave up selling baked goods on the weekend.
When she married five years ago, she and husband Darrin, 40, decided to try to launch their own business by selling baked goods at the farmers market. We were tired of working so hard for someone else, April Morey said.
This time, Morey focused on cookies, and The Cookie People was born. The couple sells 13 regular flavors. They include the classics, such as oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip and triple chocolate, as well as some inventive flavors, such as root beer float, lemonade and Mexican hot chocolate. They sell two seasonal flavors; right now, a strawberry shortcake cookie.
The Cookie People sell at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh, the Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market and the N.C. State Campus Farmers Market. For more information, go to http://thecookiepeople.net/.
Chicken Bridge Bakery
Rob and Monica Segovia-Welsh, both 34, were bakers in Wisconsin before moving to the Triangle in 2004. They soon found jobs here: he as a baker at Ninth Street Bakery and then Weaver Street Market, she as a pastry chef at Weaver Street Market and then Chapel Hills Lantern Restaurant. Five years ago, he got permission to build a small wood-fired oven at their rented home in Chapel Hill
Their first foray into the hearth-baked, naturally leavened bread business was community-supported bread, where customers paid for a weekly delivery of bread. That transitioned to selling at farmers markets, first at Saxapahaw and then Carrboro. After a year of selling at the Carrboro market, Rob Segovia-Welsh was able to quit his job to bake bread fulltime.
I think were kind of lucky, he said about getting a spot at the very busy Carrboro market on Saturdays. They didnt have anyone who was just doing bread. We filled a niche that was missing.
Among their breads are whole wheat sourdough, rye sourdough and a farmhouse sourdough. They are known for the designs Rob bakes onto the breads crust, from stars and roosters to leaves and political messages.
Chicken Bridge Bakery sells at the Carrboro Farmers Market and the Durham Farmers Market on Wednesdays. For more information, go to http://chickenbridgebakery.weebly.com/