What is the definition of artisan, and just what makes an artisan bakery different from any other kind of bakery?
According to the dictionary, “an artisan is a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand.”
According to Andy Bissell, owner of Andy’s Artisan Bread, Frankfort’s newest bakery, “an artisan bakery is more in the model of a European-style bakery than what we have come to know as a southern sweet shop.”
Andy and his wife Tara are definitely hands-on when it comes to the baked goods they turn out.
“Our products are all made on-site from scratch using carefully sourced ingredients,” says Bissell.
The baker’s hands are always on the product throughout the entire process using only what he/she has available, he goes on to say.
“For that reason, you won’t find us offering donuts as we have no fryer,” says Andy.
Neither do they ice cookies or frost cakes, although they do offer both. Tara specializes in the sweeter side of the business with granola, muffins and scones in addition to (unfrosted) cookies and cakes.
Andy prefers the savory side of the bakery. Making bread is his passion and sourdough is his specialty.
The collective aromas from all those goodies have been known to attract lawmakers in session at the Capitol, a short walk away. In this the two parties are strictly bipartisan.
Andy’s Artisan Bread opened in January of this year in a former grocery store on the corner of Todd and Logan Streets that dates back to 1907.
Governor Andy Beshear quickly became a fan, stopping by often to have the bakery’s ham and cheese croissant.
“He really seems to like it,” says Bissell in something of an understatement.
The governor may have his favorite, but other fans of Andy’s Artisan Bread are partial to the spinach and feta pastries, biscuit sandwiches with eggs, cheese and meat, and for vegetarians and vegans, the veggie soufflé.
If you have a sweet tooth, you will surely want to sample the Morning Bun, which according to Bissell is “a croissant pastry rolled like a cinnamon bun with orange zest and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
“People come in just for that,” he says.
So, stop in and have a Morning Bun with a Honey Bee Latte made with local honey and cinnamon and served hot or cold.
You’ll see why Andy’s Artisan Bread has, in its short existence, taken its rightful place alongside long-time favorites B’s Bakery and Poppy’s Bakery. Frankfort may have a population of a mere 27,863 but it seems all of those folks have a well-developed sweet tooth, making the Capital City Kentucky’s “Capital of Sweetness.”