CapNY Transplants: Chrissy and Ben Traore, See and Be

Chrissy and Ben Traore met while working in a New York City restaurant. Soon, they were commuting upstate on weekends for a cooking gig. To their great surprise, they began dreading going back to Brooklyn during the week.
“We’ve always worked 70 to 100 hours a week,” Chrissy said. “And the city and the expenses just added stress to all of that.” Something had to give. So, by 2017, they settled in Cairo, a small, rural town in Greene County, about ten miles outside of Catskill.

The Compound

Ben Traore in front of a chicken coop
The homemade chicken coup!

Together, Chrissy and Ben Traore founded See and Be Kitchen and Cafe. Their funky, functional, multi-building “compound” met all of their dreams. There’s a prep kitchen inside of a storage container (they insulated it themselves) and outdoor wood-fired oven for baking bread. Plus, there’s a chicken house and pen, and café / retail shop. Additionally, outdoor seating plans are in the works, in the shaded, rustic grounds

See and Be’s Breads and Business Plan


Ben began baking bread in Burkina Faso, a West African country near Ivory Coast and Ghana. He uses a sourdough base for all of his products, including gorgeous croissants, pastries, and a full line of breads. The starter is fermented for 48 hours, making a refined and gorgeous loaf that even gluten-sensitive customers can digest (yep, this writer can vouch for that — and it’s fantastic).

Croissants and pastries

The baking life isn’t easy. Ben goes to bed by 6 or 7pm, in order to tend to the wood-burning oven by 2am every day. Chrissy has pivoted their baking and food businesses from farmers markets to wholesale distribution, and now to online ordering and curbside pickups during COVID. Oh, and did we mention that Chrissy and Ben Traore also have an 18-month-old son in the mix now? These bakers are BUSY!

SEE & BE sign

Chrissy utilizes Ben’s breads in all of her food creations, including a weekend sandwich selection. You can place online orders here, and pick them up at See and Be from Wednesdays through Saturdays.

“We’ve always taken things one step at a time,” said Chrissy. “We have room to grow here, and space to breathe. I want to let people know that they should not be afraid to try something new. We’re building something that is ours.”

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