Chanalee Fischer Schlisser used to hand-deliver loaves of challah to her friend, hanging the bags of bread on her mailbox. When the friend got home to find the bread waiting, she’d say: “Oh, the Challah Fairy has been here!”
Years later, when Schlisser opened a bakery, the name was a natural.
Now her bakery, which thrived as a wholesale and takeout business, has become a kosher cafe, too. You can take a seat at the Challah Fairy Bakery and Cafe, which opened last fall, and try everything that Schlisser makes.
And now that she’s in her new space, Schlisser can turn out 100 loaves of eight varieties of hand-braided challah every 40 minutes.
Not that this is a race. You’ll want time to sit in the 20-seat dairy restaurant and enjoy her homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, cookies and babka, plus bagels and her Challah Fairy French toast. (The nut-free bakery-cafe is also Cholov Yisroel, which means it adheres to strict kosher rules.)
The only items she buys already prepared are the wraps — but the fillings, including salmon and whitefish salad, are made fresh every day.
“My specialty here is homemade,” she says. “And it tastes homemade. We make it a fun place to be.”
As summer approaches, she’s expanding her menu to include smoothies — at least two flavors every day — and to-go lunches that are ideal for airline travelers.
“I will pack them a lunch that they will remember!” Schlisser says with a laugh.
And, while the cafe already serves a terrific egg salad, she’s hoping to add made-to-order egg sandwiches to the menu, too.
Now won’t those be good on challah?
If you go
The Challah Fairy Bakery & Cafe, 170 N. Main St. (across from Stop & Shop), New City. 845-323-4582, www.the challahfairy.com. Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, open until 6 in the summer.