Carbs and coffee are Sarah Sessler’s love language.
She even lovingly jokes with her husband that he could buy her a loaf of bread and she would be happy.
Since these are two of the things that bring her joy, it only made sense that she wanted to bring joy to others by creating her own carbs.
From morphing puff pastry scraps into toadstools or decorating pumpkin-spiced cranberry loafs to look like actual pumpkins, Sessler creates pastries that are too pretty to eat.
After going through a particularly stressful time at a previous job, Sessler began baking as a creative outlet, starting an Instagram page to document her sourdough creations.
Selling her pastries and breads never crossed her mind until she started getting comments from interested potential customers. By August 2021, she started looking into how to make her hobby a legitimate business.
Thus, Carbs and Coffee Co. was born.
“I just wanted to bring people joy. That's what I thrive on, bringing people joy through what I create,” Sessler said.
Carbs and Coffee Co. is a micro-bakery that Sessler runs out of her home. Her self-taught skills have led her to create all kinds of pastries like Boston cream pie croissants and whimsically decorated focaccia, all made from sourdough.
Different from other bakeries, Sessler doesn’t have a set menu. While she does have certain pastries she repeatedly makes when attending local markets, her menu is more like a revolving door.
“I think that what makes it so fun for me to continue to bake is creating new flavor combinations and new types of pastries that have unique flavors that people haven't had before,” Sessler said.
While she doesn’t sell coffee, Sessler likes to use it as an ingredient in her baked goods. That led to the creation of her espresso croissants, which are a fan favorite.
To make them, Sessler infuses freshly brewed espresso into her dough and later fills it with chocolate.
Sessler also recently shaped a toadstool out of puff pastry. Sessler was inspired by her mom’s love of fairies and garden-type things to create the toadstools, filling them with different flavors like peanut butter Nutella, coconut and raspberry, and blackberries and blueberries.
“I think now that I'm like more confident in my store and more confident in the actual doughs that I'm using, I can be more creative with what I'm doing,” Sessler said.
What once was a three-day process, Sessler can now make new treats in about a day. She activates her sourdough starter the night before and a few hours later, she is ready to prepare her doughs so they can rise overnight.
The following morning, Sessler will fold butter into the doughs and let them rise again. Then, she adds the fillings and prepares them for the oven. Once fully cooked, she is able to add final touches, such as glazes and decorations.
Just by scrolling through Carbs and Coffee’s Instagram, you can see Sessler has made everything from Cheesecake Factory-inspired danishes to chocolate-glazed doughnut croissants. But her favorite item to bake are croissants.
Whether they are sweet or savory, Sessler has a soft spot for the buttery, flaky pastry.
“I think croissants are my favorite thing to make. They're also the hardest thing to make, but I think I just really like a challenge,” Sessler said.
The key to a perfect croissant: you can’t skimp on the ingredients you use. Sessler said she uses all organic flours, sugars and high-quality butters.
“When I go back home, my family always want me to bake for them and I know in my head that it's not going to be as good because the ingredients are not the same,” Sessler said. “They’re still tasty but it's just not the same level.”
While the ultimate goal is to open a brick-and-mortar one day, Sessler can be found at local markets selling her pastries to the community on weekends. On Nov. 11, you can get your dose of carbs at the Desert Air Market where Sessler will be selling her picture-perfect treats. The market is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sixth Avenue and Sixth Street. You can also message Sessler on Instagram.
“I love sharing the flavors that I make with people,” Sessler said. “That's just how I show love.”