Norbert and Annelore Gstattenbauer’s German roots run deep. Annelore’s parents still own a brewery in Germany that their family opened in 1665.
But the German pastries and breads crafted at Annelore’s German Bakery also reflect their current North Carolina connections with locally grown ingredients mixed into traditional family recipes.
That blend of cultures, already popular at area farmers markets, will be on display in Cary when the husband and wife open their first storefront in the Triangle next year.
Monday, they broke ground on the site of their new bakery at 308 W. Chatham St., in downtown Cary.
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“The retail space will be so nice for customers to come talk to us to learn much more about German baked goods,” Annelore said.
The Gstattenbauers, who live in Morrisville, have been operating their home-based bakery since they moved to the area in 2008. They sell at the Western Wake Farmers Market and State Farmers Market, the latter for the last eight years, and will continue selling at these venues once their shop is open.
But the 3,600-square-foot building is needed to meet demand as their business continues to grow. They expect construction to be complete in the middle of 2017, but some additional time will be necessary to bring in equipment and prepare to open their doors.
“We are growing, but it is our firm resolve to retain that kind of character of our bakery,” Norbert said.
Annelore comes from a long line of small business owners. In addition to a brewery, her parents also operate a restaurant and bed and breakfast. She grew up working in the family’s restaurant, and from a young age, learned the value of hard work and high quality products.
Now, Annelore spends much of her time in the bakery, crafting traditional German pastries and pretzels while Norbert helps bake the breads and handles the business side of the operation.
While the Gstattenbauers strive to use as many local products as they can, such as apples and honey, they import some products from Germany to maintain the authenticity of their products. Their most popular items are often seasonal ones, like those served around Christmas and Easter.
“This is one of the cornerstones of our business, to retain the authenticity of recipes, many of which come from our ancestors,” Norbert said.
Similar to their products, the building of their new Cary shop will feature a combination of German and North Carolina styles through its stone and brick facade and balance of traditional and modern architectural details, including arched windows.
“We have this synergy, this confluence between the European style and feel and appearance merging with North Carolina traditional building material,” he said.
He described the building’s interior style as “understated elegance.”
“It’s going to be a warm, inviting atmosphere on the inside, but it will be a place that is memorable where people can have a comfort level that will bring them back,” he said.
Downtown Cary destination
Annelore’s German Bakery has become a destination over the years, drawing people to the State Farmers Market from as far as Fayetteville and Wilmington. Many of the Gstattenbauers’ growing list of customers have become part of their “big family,” Annelore said.
A large part of creating these long-term customer relationships is the way they serve their customers, particularly in providing customer accommodations if someone is looking for vegan or gluten-free options, Norbert said. They also put that same time and care into their products.
“Many of our customers we know by name, and there is a personal element that is rarely to be found these days and many thought was long gone,” Norbert said. “So that traditional aspect applies to our products and manufacturing practices and also relates to the way we relate and engage with our customers.”
When they were looking to expand, they ultimately were attracted to Cary’s downtown revitalization efforts and acceptance of diverse cultures. The bakery follows several other local businesses, including La Farm Bakery and Pizzeria Faulisi, who have announced plans to open downtown in light of recent improvements.
“You see so much change already in downtown Cary, and I think it is going to be a fabulous area,” Annelore said.
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-460-2608: @KTrogdon
Annelore’s German Bakery is a daily vendor at the State Farmers Market at 1201 Agriculture St. in Raleigh, starting at 9 a.m. For information, go to facebook.com/AnneloresGermanBakery.