One of the hottest food spots in the Hamptons this summer doesn’t even have seats. After baking artisanal bread out of a shared kitchen in Southampton for three years, Carissa Waechter has opened a retail bakery in East Hampton where she has expanded her line to include pies, cakes and sandwiches.
The sleek shop — located in the parking area behind Newtown Lane — is a study in white and stainless, the better to highlight the golden brown of the baguettes, the burnt umber of the rustic loaves, the rich chestnut of the croissants and the speckled seeds of the pickle rye loaves, which get their sour saltiness from pureed pickles from Backyard Brine in Cutchogue.
Local ingredients are an article of faith to Waechter. Her bakery has grown in lockstep with Amagansett’s Amber Waves Farm, whose wheat makes up anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent of the bakery’s loaves. The “Amagansett baguette” gets its lift not from commercial yeast but from a sourdough starter that originated in Amagansett in 1965.
Waechter already supplies about 60 wholesale accounts on the East End, and Rustic Roots Delivery distributes her wares to homes all over Long Island and New York City. But her warm, openhearted disposition is wasted on a wholesale operation — this is a woman with a shopkeeper’s personality. “As a wholesale baker,” she said, “I take the bread out of the oven, then it gets loaded onto a truck, then it gets delivered to a store, then it gets bought by the customer. I never get to see the people who eat my bread.”
At Carissa’s The Bakery, the kitchen is in full view of the sales area, which means that Waechter can greet customers and, if she doesn’t have her hands full, give them a hug.
She is a happy baker. “I already get to bake all day,” she said. “Meeting my customers face to face just makes it better.”
Breads at Carissa’s range from $6 to $8, sandwiches are $10, pastries are $4, most pies hover around $25 and cakes are $40-$60.
Carissa’s The Bakery is open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday to Monday. From July 4 to Labor Day it will be open seven days a week.
68 Newtown Lane, East Hampton, carissasthebakery.com, firstname.lastname@example.org