French luxury bakery and sweets maker Ladurée will open its first Toronto location later this year. It will be Ladurée’s third Canadian location, following the opening of two downtown Vancouver locations.
Ladurée entered Canada in March of 2016, when it opened a 1,100 square foot boutique and 23-seat tea salon at 1141 Robson Street in Vancouver. A 500 square foot Ladurée concession (including an 18-seat tea salon) opened in March of this year at Vancouver’s Holt Renfrew’s CF Pacific Centre flagship, adjacent to the store’s recently unveiled 8,500 square foot women's designer footwear salon.
Toronto’s first Ladurée will open towards the end of 2017, in a 1,185 square foot retail space at Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Yorkdale’s Ladurée will be in an expansion of the mall’s ‘luxury wing’, across the hall from recently opened luxury retailer Saint Laurent, and next to a Links of London boutique that will open this summer.
According to Ladurée’s Canadian licensee, Olesya Krakhmalyova, the new Toronto Ladurée will feature a retail area as well as a 26-seat tea salon, with a menu similar to that of the Robson Street location. Included will be Ladurée’s signature macarons in a variety of flavours, as well as teas, jams, branded honey, Ladurée accessories and other merchandise, as well as gift boxes. The tea salon will feature a variety of tea and other drinks, as well as popular menu items such as French toast and ice cream. Ms. Krakhmalyova noted that L’Afternoon Tea Ladurée is very popular in Vancouver.
Ms. Krakhmalyova explained that Toronto’s Ladurée will include some features that will be ‘unique to Toronto’, with details to be revealed shortly. The Yorkdale boutique, as with all Ladurée locations, will be designed by the company’s in-house team. Ms. Krakhmalyova revealed that the company is working with leading firm Vergo Construction’s Commercial Interiors Division and that Vergo is providing complete construction management including the planning (drawings, etc), procurement and project management of the entire project. Vergo’s Commercial Interiors Division has expanded its focus into high end and luxury retail.
If the Yorkdale Ladurée is anything like the Vancouver locations, it will be beautiful — Vancouver’s Robson Street tea salon features Carrara marble-topped cream wooden tables along with lyre back chairs in rose and almond green hues, and small floral benches. Ladurée supplied photos in this article of the Vancouver locations.
While many lease deals are coordinated through brokers, Ms. Krakhmalyova explained that in this instance, Ladurée worked directly with landlord Oxford Properties on the Yorkdale deal. “We had a shared vision,” said Ms. Krakhmalyova, and Oxford presented a retail space opportunity that was just too good to pass up.
Vancouver’s Robson Street Ladurée recently became licensed, now serving signature alcoholic beverages. Ms. Krakhmalyova said that she hopes the new Yorkdale location will be able to serve alcoholic drinks, though that will depend on securing licensing.
The Vancouver locations will soon see an expanded assortment of fresh pastries later this year — Ms. Krakhmalyova explained that she will be opening a ‘laboratory’ kitchen in the city soon, and that a pastry chef is being moved to Vancouver to supply locations with a full range of Ladurée pastries — until now, only a limited selection has been available in Canada.
Each Ladurée location requires detail-oriented precision, noted Ms. Krakhmalyova, so Ladurée’s Canadian rollout will be carefully executed. The two Vancouver locations opened almost exactly a year apart, she noted, and the company’s focus for Toronto will initially just be on the Yorkdale location. A second Toronto location in the downtown core is a possibility, she noted, as is the possibility of entry into Montreal, though nothing is currently planned until the Yorkdale location opens and is fully operational.
Founded in Paris in 1862, Ladurée is best known for its double-decker macarons, selling over 15,000 of them daily. Many Ladurée locations also sell ice cream, sorbets, jams, chocolate and candy, as well as branded accessories. Ladurée was purchased by French business group Groupe Holder in 1993, expanding Ladurée from a handful of locations to dozens of boutiques in 25 countries. The company currently has eight American locations, including two in Manhattan, two in Los Angeles (The Grove, and in Beverly Hills), three in the Miami area (Miami Beach, Miami Design District, Bal Harbour Shops), and one in Washington, DC.
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