When Amie Smith opened her bakery in December 2014, she had a very specific goal in mind. “I wanted to sell real pastries like I remember from my childhood, made from scratch with high quality ingredients.” Every day Smith and one of her fellow bakers, Brenna Witter or Mayah Jones, arrive before dawn to fire up the ovens and start mixing the various icings, buttercreams, pastries and meringues used in their small batch baked goods. Despite the relatively modest size of her shop and the actual cooking space therein, Smith and her team offer an impressive lineup, from croissants, quiche and scones, to homemade soups and sandwiches, and, of course, a dazzling array of sweets.
For Smith, opening AMIE Bakery was the culmination of a long-held dream, one she harbored through more than 25 years at a fulltime career as a marketing communications professional, during 15 of which she also taught part-time at her alma mater, Northeastern University. Growing up in New Jersey, the child of a one-time professional baker, Smith loved helping her father make his signature butter cookies, and she fondly recalls the weekly trip to the local bakery for rye bread and black-and-white cookies. During the recession of 2008 when the phone stopped ringing, she finally had time to take the professional pastry program at the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan. It wouldn’t be for another six years, however, that she finally made a focused effort to open her own shop. Once she made that mental commitment, the project seemed to take on a life of its own. She started developing her business plan and soon found a space in her long-time adopted hometown of Osterville. Although the storefront had previously been a café, Smith basically had to completely gut the space. The finished product is a nice marriage of French bistro (marble-topped tables, woven chairs, black-and-white tiled floor) and Cape Cod (white beadboard, seafoam green painted walls). She was taking delivery of her first order of baking supplies three days before she opened shop during last year’s Christmas stroll. Although winter might be an inauspicious time to open a new business on the Cape, it gave Smith and her staff the opportunity to test recipes and learn what resonated with their customers before ramping up production for the high season.
Inspiration for her baked goods comes from many sources, for example, the raspberry-walnut shortbread cookies are based on a recipe from the mother of the woman who introduced her to Osterville. Some pay tribute to iconic local creations, like the Jordan Marsh Blueberry muffins and Boston cream pie cupcakes. And some, like the Buttermilk and Bourbon-Pecan pies and Hummingbird and Red Velvet cakes, honor her mother’s Southern heritage. “I like to add a twist, an unexpected flavor that enhances the familiar,” says Smith. She likes cardamom because it has a real old world essence, as well as citrus zests and frangipane. She incorporates the first two in her own version of her father’s butter cookies.
Recently Smith launched AMIE Academie, which marries her two passions: cooking and teaching. Two-hour classes are offered in such topics as homemade bagels and entertaining with puff pastry. Also in the works are themed classes around the holidays: gingerbread in December, and cake and cookie decorating for Valentine’s Day. Due to the physical limitations of the bakery, classes are limited in size so it’s essential to sign up early. A schedule of planned classes for this winter and spring is on the AMIE Bakery website. This is just the beginning, Smith says. She hopes to grow the Academie by adding a second, larger location and even one day to write a cookbook.
3 Wianno Avenue, Osterville
Open Monday-Wednesday 7 am-12 pm, Thursday-Saturday
7 am-3 pm, Sunday 8 am-1 pm
508-428-1005 / amiebakerycc.com