Updated: May 8, 2021
Interview by Melissa Carll, Marketing
The Cambridge Food Co-op recently started carrying goods from Hudson Valley Hand-cuts, a local woman-owned and operated business. The baked goods are brought in on Fridays, and you'd better be quick to come into the store if you want to sample a package of these delights, because Carey Taylor-Noble's scones and madeleines are gone in a blink of an eye.
Carey's story for how her business started and expanded is really a good one, and we wanted to share it with our customers.
Melissa: How long has your business, Hudson Valley Hand-cuts existed?
Carey: I opened my business in 2017 in Albany NY. Since that time, we have made over 50,000 scones!
M: What sorts of baked goods do you make?
C: I make regular, gluten free and vegan scones and gluten free Madeleines (French butter cakes).
M: What is your signature creation (if you have one)?
C: The Lemon Drop scone. A buttery glazed scone made with plenty of lemon zest. And our gluten free Madeleines!
M: How did you decide to start your business? Is it a passion of yours, love of baked goods, etc? What's the backstory?
C: I read baking and cookbooks like novels growing up. I was formally trained in French cooking and French pastry by Madeleine Kamman at The Modern Gourmet cooking school in Massachusetts in the 1970's. Kamman was a protege of Julia Child - though most often they were at odds with each other.
I was delivering croissants and other baked goods to cafes and restaurants in Boston where I grew up. I closed my baking business in downtown Boston when I had my first child in 1976. I started a full service catering business when I moved to Scituate, Massuchusetts in 1982. Later, I went into corporate advertising and marketing. And eventually event planning for Oracle Corporation. But I have always had a passion for baking.
I moved to the Albany area in 2010. In 2016-2017 I had been working at The Different Drummer's Kitchen Cooking School in Albany, NY, helping with marketing and instructing. There seemed to be a demand for good scones and scone recipes. I was encouraged to start selling them.
My scone recipe has been in the family for years. My mother, A Boston Globe journalist - had a Bed and Breakfast in Boston and served them to her guests. My grandmother (of Irish descent - was an outstanding baker). So, it runs in the family.
When I started baking again in 2017, I was living in a big loft in downtown Albany - but I soon outgrew that location.
This year, I moved to Cambridge NY where I have more space for a home processing kitchen. I am a NYS approved home processor of baked goods. We sell to wholesale accounts and at farmers markets.
M: What are the future plans for Hudson Valley Hand-cuts?
C: We are currently planning for production of over 1,000 scones and Madeleines a week throughout the summer months. We will grow as long as we can maintain quality. For a full list of outlets please visit our website.
M: What's something fun that we could tell our customers about you?
C: I used to race cars in the 1990's - road racing at Lime Rock Park. Auto crossing and Ice Racing on frozen lakes in NYS. I placed first in the NYSIRA women's division of ice racing in 1991. I now drive a Turbo Navy Mini Cooper. You may see me zipping around Cambridge!
Thank you, Carey, for taking the time to answer our questions and for sharing your beautiful photos of your baked goods! We are happy to have Hudson Valley Hand-cuts in the Co-op.
All image credits: Carey Taylor-Noble