Sunrise Bakery: Brilliance on Main Street

 Sunrise Bakery's Christy Matherly, Lexington, KY

Sunrise Bakery's Christy Matherly, Lexington, KY

Kristy Matherly may not know it, but she is one of the reasons Lexingtonians get out of bed on Saturday mornings and come downtown. I used to be under the illusion that it was Sunrise Bakery's handmade pastries or croissants that drew me to 111 West Main Street, or maybe it was the flawless, smooth Illy espresso. Then I stopped eating gluten and my relationship with coffee turned on-again/off again.

Somehow, though, I did not stop going to Sunrise Bakery. It took me a while to figure out that the warmth and cheer of the place and its dedicated patrons made reasons enough for my weekly pilgrimage. And then I realized the most obvious thing of all: Kristy Matherly, who owns Sunrise with her excellent and equally friendly baker-husband Steve, puts the sun in Sunrise. Exactly like the sun, she shines a megawatt smile and sheds warmth and life-giving energy on every person who comes into this delicious-smelling bakery.

 Charm, Smells, Cookies! Sunrise Bakery on Main Street in Lexington, KY

Charm, Smells, Cookies! Sunrise Bakery on Main Street in Lexington, KY

Kristy and Steve Matherly involve lots of family members and friends in their business. Two young sons, too, are getting the benefits of taking part in what their parents do. How "Main Street" is that??

 Sunrise Bakery cinnamon rolls that call Lexingtonians out of bed on Saturdays in KY

Sunrise Bakery cinnamon rolls that call Lexingtonians out of bed on Saturdays in KY

I am not exaggerating about the attraction of Sunrise Bakery's cinnamon rolls. A common sight in the bakery: Adults of all ages close their eyes and make swooning noises at the smell, the idea, the opportunity these rolls offer for savoring good, sweet, fresh, expertly made tastes. The breads, cookies, croissants, sandwiches and every other feature at Sunrise reflect the same quality. The cinnamon rolls, however, are the one picture Lexingtonians hold in their heads on Saturday morning when the question is "Sleep in? Or get up now and get to Sunrise before the rolls run out?"

Some lucky people find Sunrise cinnamon rolls, baguettes, batards and other fine things (including chocolate chip-garlic cookies) at Blue Moon Farm's stand on the Short Street side of the Saturday Lexington Farmers Market. This is good! More chances that rolls will still be there after a hit or two on the snooze button.

If not, though, I suggest you ask Kristy or Steve to make a cheese plate from the beautiful Italian cheeses in their cold case. When Kristy hands the plate to you with her amazing smile as a bonus, you know that life is good, Saturday is good, all is well. To be clear, Sunrise Bakery is open Tuesday - Friday each week as well, thank goodness. This Savory Bite celebrates the Saturday Sunrise Bakery experience, including the way it so often prefaces a trip to the Lexington Farmers Market, and the way Kristy's sunshine adds solar power to a treasured weekend morning ritual for lots of us.

If you can't get to Sunrise Bakery, consider making your own cinnamon rolls. Savoring Kentucky readers confirm that it's doable, even for people who haven't made yeasted breads before, using the recipe and approaches Ruth and Lisle (aka Mother and Dad) perfected.

This is Savory Kentucky Bite number 6 of 116 Savory Bites created in honor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.