A small summer project making bread for Amagansett Farmers Market turned into a career for Carissa Waechter, who opened Carissa’s Bakery Memorial Day Weekend in East Hampton.
The humble looking white tiled bakery sells Waechter’s signature breads as well as sandwiches, coffee, teas, pastries, pies and custom cakes. Waechter said the small size of the bakery was chosen so that patrons could experience all of the smells and sounds that a bakery brings.
“It’s a shared experience,” Waechter said. “We want you to come in and feel like you’re a part of this.”
The experience makes customers feel at home. But home is a long way away for Waechter. The St. Petersburg, Florida native packed her backs and moved to New York City on her 21st birthday in 2001 to attend culinary school. She apprenticed for noted chefs like David Burke and Daniel Boulud before moving East to bake bread for the summer.
But things changed quickly. Customer’s loved Waechter’s breads, which she baked herself using local East End ingredients such as Bee’s Needs Honey, Balsam Farm Sweet Potatoes and Montauk Brewing Company Beer. She decided to turn the casual summer gig into a new business, Carissa’s Breads. The demand continued to grow, prompting Wachter, who now lives in Sag Harbor, to expand her bread business this year with her first-ever brick-and-mortar bakery.
Locals and tourists are in agreement on one thing: It’s been a hit so far. But each has their favorite item, whether it’s the Amagansett baguette which rises because of sourdough, not yeast, or the giant pickle rye bread. Although she thinks of all of her baked goods as her children, her favorite is the sourdough bread with a flaky crust and soft center.
“It incorporates local wheat from Amagansett, and comes out of my new oven looking so pretty.”
Carissa’s Bakery is located at 68 Newtown Lane in East Hampton and is open 7am–4pm Thursday–Sunday and 7am–2pm Tuesday and Wednesday.