IN THE REGION — The sheeter, or laminating machine, where Carla Gennuso creates doughs for croissants stood on its own in the center of her bakery, Loveridge Place, at 2 Prospect Street in Pawcatuck, as she talked with customers and staff Friday morning.
“That can really crank out a lot of work,” said Gennuso, the founder and executive chef.
With the machine, Gennuso creates yeast-leavened laminated dough used for viennoiserie, including croissants, one of her specialties.
Her plain croissant is perhaps the best we’ve had in our travels between New Haven and Providence — with three or four turns, that can be unwound or pulled apart, moist, with the flavor of butter and the ferment.
The tricky part in the summer is the heat and humidity, she said.
“It’s really hard to work with doughs in the heat, especially ones with butter folded in, like the croissant dough, because you go to roll it or touch it with your hand it melts and peels the layers off,” she said. “Cooler temperatures are better for the dough.”
Gennuso, who grew up in New York and spent her summers in Charlestown, graduated from the Santa Barbara City College culinary program in California and trained with Renaud Gonthier, a French pastry chef. She named her bakery after her maternal grandmother, Louise Loveridge. After she returned to the area about three years ago, she worked a stint as the chef at MBAR in Mystic before opening her bakery last October.
The Pawcatuck location can be a little difficult to find, but Loveridge Place also has a storefront at 137 Main Street in Westerly next to the Cheese Corner and Dick’s World of Wines
“It’s just to try to get a place with more visibility, better parking and traffic… especially beach traffic. I’d like to be able to reach out to more people,” Gennuso said, adding that she’s looking eventually into having a location with seating for customers.
Ordering a number of items at the Westerly location Friday morning was Cheryl Stedman, of Westerly, who said she has become a regular customer.
“My first visit we tried a croissant, a scone, a tart and I had to come back the next day,” she said. “The scones — the size is just perfect, they’re just moist enough, they’re nice and crunchy on the outside. The croissants are just so flaky. Everything is just sweet enough but not too sweet — if you want sweet you can buy sweet but if you don’t want sweet the tarts are amazing.”
Stedman ordered a few scones, and a few breakfast burritos including the “soupy,” which contains an Italian dried sausage authentic to Westerly.
“And they do special lunches that you can pick up and go and take the beach,” she said. “I come every week.”
Standing at the counter was also Sarah Cooper, who runs the Margin Street Inn in Westerly, who ordered 36 plain mini croissants for the following morning.
“Everything they make is fabulous,” she said. “I always put Loveridge croissants on my board,” Stedman said she appreciated Gennuso’s special skill in making croissants
“I always make muffins in the morning but croissants I’m not going to tackle. Sometimes they’re too big or too buttery or whatever, but these are perfect, really light,” she said. “It’s so humble but amazing.”
Loveridge Place is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from beginning at 7 a.m. Check hours and locations at https://loveridgeplace.com/