Culinary Institute of America graduate and Hudson Valley native, Katlynn VanZandt was born with a dream to launch her bakery. Thanks to a loving and supportive family she is now living that dream. To Katie, her passion for family and baking is boundless. She aspires to share that love with the community through her delectable desserts. Katie Rose Bakery aims to provide the highest possible customer service and create desserts for all no matter the dietary restriction.
Katlynn’s exposure to business and enthusiasm for baking all started at an incredibly young age. Rearing from a family of entrepreneurs, Katlynn was surrounded by a driven group of individuals. From her grandfather all through her aunts and uncles, and even her parents; from construction to restaurants, law firms, and daycares. Business is laced deeply within Katie’s veins. Growing up in a large family, of course, also meant exhilarating family gatherings centered around quality time and a giant meal followed by copious amounts of desserts. With those moments came discussions of business models, expansions, and the like, instilling in Katie a knowledge and desire to build a successful business of her own. When asked what her biggest takeaway was from her upbringing she stated, “When you love what you do it doesn’t work.”
In 2011 Katlynn attended Dutchess County BOCES program for baking where she studied under Chef Darcy Sala. Learning the basics of the kitchen, baking and pastry arts, and what to expect in the industry. Chef Sala would always repeat “Harder, Faster, more” and this stuck with Katie, especially when she was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. She quickly learned that working fourteen-to-eighteen-hour days seven days a week is normal. Katlynn attended an externship at a 5-star restaurant, The Castle on the Hudson, in Tarrytown, NY. Here Katie spent most of her time learning one on one from the head pastry chef on how to put a special twist on beautifully plated desserts. In 2013 Katlynn graduated from the Culinary Institute with a degree in Baking in Pastry Arts. After graduation she moved to Rockland, ME to start her dream job at Primo; two-time James Beard Award-winning Chef Melissa Kelly’s farm-to-table restaurant. Katie was exposed to local and seasonal ingredients used to create the most elegant desserts with products straight from the farm. This was also Katlynn’s first exposure to making bread in a wood-burning oven.
The pride and inspiration this experience brought to Katlynn catapulted her admiration for bread. As Primo is a seasonal restaurant that closes for the winter Katie acquired second employment at The Market Basket in Rockport ME. Here she found herself surrounded by the bread-making process. Making bread is one of Katie’s biggest passions: the feel of the flour, and the amazement of what a few simple ingredients can do, never ceases to bring joy to her day. In 2015 Katlynn found herself yearning for the comradery of family and the fresh air of the Hudson Valley so she moved back to Dutchess County. Tapping back into her roots she rejoined the team at Homestyle Dessert Bakery, the location of her first job as a teenager. Katlynn joined the team as a cake decorator, broadening her cake decorating skills. For some time after that, she worked at Main Course, New Paltz where she was the head baker. For the first time, Katlynn found herself in charge of the pastry department, with the freedom to build the menu she had only dreamt of before. The passion and ideas began flowing; she expanded the menu adding vegan, gluten-free, and no sugar added desserts with her flare. While she was there, she won People’s choice at the K104 Cupcake Festival two years in a row in 2018 and 2019.
The dream to open her bakery quickly became a real opportunity when her family-built Hopewell Square. The opportunity came fast, it was now or never. Katie Rose Bakery was planned, executed, and built-in seven months. Since opening, Katie Rose Bakery has expanded not only its storefront but into local farmer's markets and event venues. Currently, Katie Rose Bakery works with; Millcreek, Hopewell Junction, The Powelton Club, Newburgh, and The Curry Estate at Le Chambord Hopewell Junction. Her products can also be found at Fishkill Farm, Hopewell Junction, Ober Creek Farm, Wappingers Falls, Meadowbrook Farm, Wappingers Falls, and Dressel Farm, New Paltz. They also work with restaurants such as Patsy’s Roadhouse, Hopewell Junction, Plated, Hopewell Junction, and Fresh, Hopewell Junction. Katlynn’s goal is to expand on working locally with more special event venues, restaurants, and farms. As well, Katie aims to expand her storefront with new trends and specialty cakes. There are always plenty of new exciting ideas brewing in Katie’s mind as she works to bring them to fruition, the future holds so many possibilities for Katlynn and her abundant dreams.