The Best of Two Food Worlds


Story by Jackie Boeheim
Photos by Ginny Williams Photography

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The success of La Farm Bakery has been celebrated nationally through O, The Oprah Magazine, Garden & Gun, Food & Wine, and more, so it’s fitting that this savory local bakery would expand its business. Residents in West Cary are joyous that the bakery chose to open its third location close to home.

Husband and wife team Lionel and Missy Vatinet opened their first bakery in Cary in 1999. The location features a dine-in area as well as a shopping space. Over the years, diners and shoppers have responded well to the centuries-old baking traditions that the team executes with passion.

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With a European-style hearth oven on hand, La Farm is able to crank out more than 15 different styles of bread. These breads are all hand-crafted and prepped for three days before serving. Not only do breads decorate the storefront, but diners can also relish in sweet treats and savory meals.  

This first location has picked up steam over the years, and it was evident that there was ample opportunity for another store and that the team needed to expand to meet the needs of its growing customer base.  

Missy Vatinet knew right away that West Cary would be the ideal spot. “In West Cary we are closer to some of our current customers and, hopefully, more convenient to others who may not have had our breads and bakery items.”

When Whole Foods Market opened a 40,000-square-foot location in Alston Town Center in November, the path was clear. Knowing the popularity surrounding La Farm Bakery, Whole Foods quickly gave La Farm an opportunity to be a part of the store. For La Farm, this was much more than just “another location,” this was a chance to connect with customers in a different way.

“This gave us a rare opportunity to continue to educate our community and allow more people to be part of the grain movement that is starting throughout the world,” Vatinet states. “A place where our bakers can showcase breads made with grains from small farms, local mills, and scientists who are focused on heritage and heirloom grains.”

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The synergies between the two brands was undeniable: Whole Foods Market also believes in educating its customers about where their food originates, how it affects the body, and how to stay healthy. The two companies share similar philosophies, and this is what makes the expansion work so well.

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La Farm Bakery has been open since November and, as with any new location, they have had their fair share of hiccups. In the beginning, the bakers had to find humor in the glitch-ridden ovens and the cashiers had to make customers laugh when the registers stopped working. But now, all the glitches have been worked out and Lionel and Missy have learned to laugh, a lot.

An added treat at the West Cary location is that guests can experience Nitro Coffee, the process where nitrogen is added to a cold brew. Coffee lovers often prefer a cup of nitro, as this method makes the coffee more potent, a bit creamier, and a touch sweeter. In January, La Farm will introduce breakfast sandwich sliders. Customers can grab a quick cup of coffee and a breakfast slider right at the coffee counter.

If you think this is it for La Farm, you are wildly mistaken; the bakery continues to grow and is a proud staple in our community. “We’re excited to continue to develop our production bakery in downtown Cary. We will eventually finish the entire building, add a café, and possibly bring in other partners who are celebrating healthy grain as we are. We look forward to creating a real destination for bread and grain,” Vatinet states.