Ask the owners of Palm Coast’s newest bakery about bread, and they’ll be talking for an hour. Ask them about bread in Austria, and they’ll be talking all day, gesturing animatedly and joking with one another as they do.
“Food there is different,” said Anthony Datsko, who with his mother and stepfather is opening a bakery so authentically Austrian that even its water will be imported from its namesake country. “They care more about what they eat, and they aren’t going to put something in their mouths they can’t pronounce. There, things are real.”
While someone in America might say Datsko and his family are passionate about bread, in Austria, they’re nothing special. There, bread is more complex because of the variety of yeasts and flours bakers employ. There are different breads for every occasion, as well as for every time of day.
Datsko was born and raised in Florida with his mother, April Stottan, who met her husband, Austria-native Manfred Stottan, after he retired to Florida. April Stottan was at the marina trying to get her boat running and Manfred Stottan, an engineer by trade, stopped to help her.
“He came over and in 10 minutes, he had it running,” April Stottan said.
The three travel to Vienna each year, a city where people go to the market daily for their food in a country so centrally located that most European foods are available. But that annual trip was not enough to quell their cravings for European bread. They decided they’d start making it themselves.
But then, they were met with a huge demand from other Palm Coast residents who heard of their plan to import ingredients for authentic European breads. They were shocked, initially, but they decided to meet that demand: Old Vienna Austrian Bakery will be opening in the next month, pending some deliveries of equipment and some finishing touches.
Until then, Datsko and the Stottans are at their bakery from early in the morning until late in the day, preparing inventory and hanging photos on the walls (everything from photos of Vienna to the tongue-in-cheek “No kangaroos here” signs prevalent in Austria for the sake of confused tourists).
Everything they make will be from scratch, using no preservatives.
“That’s the European way,” said Manfred Stottan, who learned to cook in the kitchen of a restaurant he owned in Austria, a side project during his career as an engineer.
As if that weren’t authentic enough, the bakery will be importing ingredients from Austria — from the flour to the water.
“The water makes a big difference in taste,” April Stottan said. “It just wouldn’t be the same if we used water from here.”
Old Vienna Austrian Bakery will also have pastries and other foods, as well as a catering service.
“In Austria, people don’t just eat something because it’s there; they care about what they put into their mouths,” Datsko said. “That’s what I want to do here: Make food where you eat it and it’s memorable.”
The bakery is at 2323 N. State St., Unit 55. For more, visit http://www.old-vienna.com/.