Early last year, Kelly and Brandon Harris went to the opening of Kelly’s sister’s bakery and came away with a potentially life-altering decision.
“We left and said, ‘We should open our own bakery,’” Brandon Harris said.
At the time, they lived in Virginia, with Kelly employed as a social worker and Brandon selling seafood wholesale. By June, they owned Hudson Valley Cakery in Valley Cottage.
“At first we were traveling back and forth a lot,” Kelly Harris said.
They live in Airmont full time now. Brandon Harris grew up in Suffern and Kelly grew up in Monroe in Orange County. Her sister’s bakery, Laura’s Sweets, is located in somewhat appropriately named Sugarloaf, also in Orange County.
At first, they were operating just as a wholesale store, selling to markets and other places. But about a month ago, they officially opened as a retail location as well.
They specialize in baking everything in house from scratch.
“That’s how I learned to bake,” Kelly Harris said.
She added she’s been baking as long as she can remember, and has been teaching Brandon as they go along.
“I like to cook, but didn’t have too much experience baking before,” he said.
So far, things are going well for him.
“He’s a really fast learner, so he’s picked up a lot already,” Kelly Harris said.
They said they use natural ingredients, such as real fruit in their pies, partly based on their own tastes.
“Kelly and I try to eat healthy,” Brandon said. “We wouldn’t want to sell stuff we wouldn’t want to eat. Listen, I’m not going to say that eating a chocolate cupcake is healthy, but I think if you’re going to eat one, ours are going to be better than something you’d find at a big supermarket.”
They bake continuously throughout the day, cooking up cupcakes, pies, cookies, tarts, cakes and more, with everything made on site. The constant work was a bit of a surprise at first.
“We didn’t realize just how much work would be involved,” Kelly Harris said. “It’s a lot of hard work, but we’ve been able to handle it. It’s been really exciting”
Recently they started offering more breakfast options. They have croissants, as well as breakfast sandwiches, such as bacon and cheddar, on croissants. They have muffins and frittatas, all baked fresh at the store as well. They also offer gluten free options.
The two are planning out a grand opening to introduce themselves, and their baked goods, to the neighborhood. So far, those who have stopped in have expressed gratitude to Valley Cottage’s two newest bakers.
“A lot of people have thanked us for opening, saying the area could use a good bakery,” Brandon Harris said.
He added that so far the cupcakes have been a popular seller. Kelly Harris said the red velvet cupcakes have been an especially hot item.
Hudson Valley Cakery is located at 495 Kings Highway, Valley Cottage. It’s phone number is 845-267-2253. It’s open Tuesday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.