The HVADC Cultivator
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Farm and Food Funding Accelerator Participant:
Local Artisan Bakery
In May, Karianna Haasch hung her new Local Artisan Bakery sign above her new bakery in midtown Kingston; serious about every word read in the sign. Haasch’s background in marketing and business development in the retail/point-of-purchase and lighting industries did not exactly spell out b-a-k-e-r-y, but her longtime passion for baking did. “Since an early age, I have enjoyed baking, and it's always been something that I gifted to other people,” said Haasch. “When I was working in the corporate world, baking was my therapy. I would come home at the end of the day, bake, and take the goods into work the next day to share with coworkers. After being told for many years that I should open a bakery, I decided to do it.”
On local—Haasch sources her ingredients locally, which also means her baked goods are based around the Hudson Valley harvest season. “As a producer of a value-added product, I believe that I hold a responsibility to support others within this community,” she said. “Purchasing raw ingredients from local suppliers not only helps our local economy, but it also ensures the highest-quality, freshest, and best tasting foods. I use goods when they are in season - for example, right now in early summer I'm featuring rhubarb and strawberries in my baked goods.”
Some of the area farms and businesses from where Haasch currently sources ingredients include Boice Brothers Dairy, Hudson Valley Fresh, Feather Ridge Farm, Greig Farm, Kingston YMCA Farm Project, Maynard Farms, Tributary Farm, Wright's Farm, Damn Good Honey Farm, Krause's Chocolates, and Fruit & Pepper, as well as fellow current HVADC Farm and Food Funding Accelerator (FFFA) Peers, JSK Cattle Company and Miracle Springs Farm and prior FFFA class member Les Collines.
And what makes exactly her baked goods artisanal? ar·ti·san (noun) 1. a person skilled in an applied art; a craftsperson. 2. a person or company that makes a high-quality or distinctive product in small quantities, usually by hand or using traditional methods. As Haasch has said, “every artisan has a craft – baking is ours.”
Haasch only bakes in small batches, with the utmost attention to precise detail, and features new flavors every week.
Once Haasch decided to actualize a physical bakery, she said she did extensive online research, at which point she learned about HVADC’s FFFA program. She also tested her premise, brand and products by operating as a pop up bakery, selling at events, and by special order. “My goal with the program was to secure funding so I could open a retail location for my bakery,” she said. “While working with the mentors, I have finalized a robust business plan, calculated financial projections, and achieved that goal of opening my brick-and-mortar store.”
Haasch said that the FFFA program’s benefits to her knowledgebase and skillset are myriad. “[I most benefitted from] learning how to write a business plan, calculating monthly cash flows and financial projections, networking with other peers-- some of whose products I carry in my store-- and overall gaining exposure to resources and connections within the Hudson Valley food and farming industry,” she said. “Our monthly sales have already quadrupled since opening our retail location on May fourth!” In only its first week of operation, Local Artisan Bakery garnered coverage by Hudson Valley Magazine and Kingston Times.
Haasch has already strategized the next phase for Local Artisan Bakery, which is to increase the percentage of specialty food products sold, all which would be sourced from local makers. To purchase inventory, she has launched a GoFundMe crowdsourcing campaign at https://www.gofundme.com/local-hudson-valley-products
“Karianna had given considerable thoughtful development to the Local Artisan Bakery brand before her retail store opening, so was well positioned to launch her marketing messaging and promotion prior to the opening,” said HVADC marketing consultant, Diane Greco of Tactix, Inc., a FFFA advisor. “With a marketing background, she had identified all the elements of a succinct plan early in the process, from S.W.O.T analysis—Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats-- to promotional opportunities, and then was able to apply all the premises of that plan to the brand extension of Local Artisan Gift Collective, which is featured in her store as well, while staying true to the brand's story."
For more information about Local Artisan Bakery, visit www.localartisanbakery.com
For more information about the Farm and Food Funding Accelerator, visit https://www.hvadc.org/farm-food-funding-accelerator. The 2018-2019 FFFA program concluded on June 26 with the Peers making their final pitch presentations to potential funders, but HVADC will be opening the application period for its upcoming fall 2019/spring 2020 FFFA program in the coming weeks. Watch www.hvadc.org for news about deadlines, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate that you would be interested in receiving an application packet.
Photos: LACE Photo Media