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Hudson Vallley's Focaccia Flourst. Ashely Napoli

We Are Upstate NY with Ashley Napoli Founder of Focaccia Flourist

In just eight short months, the dream became reality for Ashley Napoli, the founder of Focaccia Flourist.  One day, while just “playing around” baking sourdough bread, Ashley was inspired to create sourdough focaccia.  Naturally artistic, she embellished her new product with various floral touches to create unique designs and… voila!

Much to her surprise and delight, there was huge demand for her fanciful focaccia and how she makes it; focaccia classes became the natural path for her uniquely tasty brand.  Thus began the journey of the “Focaccia Flourist“.  Let’s meet Hudson Valley baker Ashley Napoli…

Where are you initially from, and how did you wind up in the Hudson Valley?

I have grown up in the Hudson Valley my whole life, and my husband and I choose to raise our children here. This is home for us, and our roots run deep in the Hudson Valley.

Tell us about how you came up with the idea for Focaccia Flourist and your journey.

During the trial and error of making different sourdough bread, I found deep enjoyment in making sourdough focaccia and creating edible art with floral designs. After playing around with a few names, Focaccia Flourist seemed to be a perfect fit.

Everything started with making focaccia for friends, then progressed to custom design orders, having a booth at events, pairing my bread with wine at Whitecliff Vineyard, and teaching classes at different locations in the Hudson Valley. The journey has been a fun one!

When did you decide to offer classes? You currently provide workshops at Wildflower Farms, the hottest new Hudson Valley luxury resort–tell us about that.

I started to offer classes in the late Spring of this year, 2022, at WatergrassHill Bed and Breakfast. I then started teaching in-home private classes, which I still do. Shortly after that, Wildflower Farms reached out to me to provide a learning experience for their guests about working with sourdough and locally sourced ingredients. We called the class “Rising Blooms.” The workshops at Wildflower Farms are going very well, excellent, in fact. I get so excited prepping for the class, and I can’t wait to meet the families and friends who sign up! The Maple House kitchen classroom is beautiful and a joy to work in.

Focaccia Flourist Class at Wildflower FarmFocaccia Flourist Baking Classes at Wildflower Farm

Baked Focaccia from Classes at Wildflower Farm

What is most challenging about the work you do, if anything?

Peeling garlic. Yup.

What is one question you’re constantly asked, or the biggest misconception about your work?

I’m mostly asked about the dough, my sourdough starter, and how to take care of it.

How do you market your services? Do you leverage social media to get work, and how is that working for you?

I love making fun videos of my bread and sharing them on multiple social media platforms. And word-of-mouth, customers telling friends and family has been a wonderful driving force to let people know about me and what I do.

What about the Hudson Valley makes it unique to live + work here?

It’s hard to say; I’ve never wanted to live anywhere else.

Ashley Napoli the Focaccia Flourist at Wildflower Farm
What local businesses do you rely on to be successful?

Wildflower Farms, Whitecliff Vineyard, Witch Hazel, WatergrassHill Bed and Breakfast, and the Beacon Farmers Market. All these locations allow me to showcase my products, and I am very grateful for each one.

What impact does your business have on your community?

I can teach how to bake in a more sustainable, traditional and healthy way.

What is missing in the area that you wish we had?

A traditional flour mill.

Who or what inspires you personally?

All my customers and the wonderful design ideas they request.

Which living person do you most admire?

My mom

Tell us something about yourself that people might be surprised to know.

I started Focaccia Flourist only eight months ago.

What would be your dream local Staycation?

Cabin in the Catskills, hiking a peak or two of the Catskill 3500, forage for a bit and then eat some good local food with great wine.

What is your current state of mind?

Grateful

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Photos: Noel Mcgrath for Inside+Out Upstate NY

 

Connect with the Ashley Napoli the Focaccia Flourist
Follow: Website | Instagram | Facebook
Book a Class 

And let’s not forget these delicious treats! Yes, it was as good as it locks.Thank you, Ashley!

Inside+Out Upstate NY focaccia by the Focaccia Flourist

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