La Farm Bakery (lafarmbakery.com; @lafarmcary) opened in Cary, NC in 1999 serving 9 handmade European breads and cinnamon buns – and offering “IOU’s” to curious new customers. Word-of-mouth praise fueled La Farm Bakery’s early growth, and in 2009, husband and wife team Lionel and Missy Vatinet, expanded with a café, a bread truck, and began selling breads to all 5 Triangle area Whole Foods Markets. This holiday season, the Vatinets will expand again with a new production bakery in downtown Cary at 220 West Chatham Street, providing ample space to maximize their bakers’ talents and further support the growth of the local grain industry in North Carolina. And in 2017, the Vatinets’ will open a small retail bakery and café adjacent to their production bakery, which will be designed to offer a full view of the bakers in action, mixing, shaping and baking breads by hand.

“It’s time for us to grow so that our bakers – who shape every single loaf by hand – have room to explore new ideas and produce breads to meet the demand of our customers,” explained Master Baker Lionel Vatinet, a two-time James Beard Foundation “Outstanding Baker” semifinalist, who is dedicating more and more of his time to developing new breads using healthy grains grown and milled regionally and in North Carolina. Vatinet’s newest sourdough bread – Historic Carolina Gold Rice Bread – is made with Carolina Ground’s local, organic whole wheat flour (grown at Carter Farm near Pinehurst and milled in Asheville) and Anson Mills’ Carolina Gold “middlins” rice.

The Vatinet’s are also pleased to have an additional 5600 feet available to lease in this building, commonly referred to as “the Sorrell building.” “We believe in Cary and are in love with our community,” explained Missy Vatinet, who noted that there will be no changes to their current location at 4248 NW Cary Parkway in Preston Corners, with the exception of new breads and pastries. “It’s an exciting time for our community! It’s been an honor to be part of Cary’s growth over the past 17 years, and now we’re thrilled we can play a role in downtown Cary’s revitalization,” explained Missy Vatinet, who is currently recruiting like-minded food and beverage retailers, chefs and restaurateurs for leasing opportunities at this new food destination.

“Downtown Cary is in the midst of a renaissance and in the last 18 months we have seen the opening of The Mayton Inn, Bond Brother’s Beer Company, Crosstown Pub and BREW at The Cary Theater to name a few,” explained the Town of Cary’s Downtown Development Manager, Ted Boyd. “La Farm is a Cary small business success story that has achieved national and international recognition and will continue to define Cary’s commitment to local business. They have a proven track record for building our economy through their support of local agriculture. I am beyond thrilled to know that La Farm’s White Chocolate Baguettes will be in walking distance of my office in Downtown Cary. Their expansion to Downtown will transform a key corner on our Main Street, Chatham Street, and will be a catalyst for future development.”

Upcoming events for Lionel Vatinet and La Farm Bakery:

  • On-going, Breads served at Competition Dining, NC
  • September 24, Michelin Starred Dinner, Euphoria, Greenville, SC
  • October 11, TerraVITA Food & Drink, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Nov 9, JBF’s Celebrity Chef Tour, Savannah Food & Wine Festival, Savannah, GA
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