By Craig Patterson
Upscale French bakery and sweets maker Ladurée has expanded its offerings at its first two Canadian locations in Vancouver, courtesy of the new purposely built Pastry Laboratory that has opened in the city. A Ladurée International Pastry Chef has relocated from Paris to Vancouver to oversee preparation of the world famous Ladurée cakes and pastries that, until now, were unavailable at Ladurée in Canada.
Coinciding with a launch on Bastille Day, Ladurée pastry chef Mickael de Monte will be supplying the West Coast with a range of delicacies such as of Ispahan, Plaisir Sucré, Saint Honore, Marie Antoinette and Ladurée croissants and other viennoisseries.
Chef Mickael de Monte is said to be a quintessential French pastry chef with 15 years of experience in pastry making and 5 years of experience with Ladurée. Until now Ladurée’s Canadian operations have stocked a selection of sweets such as its famous macarons, chocolates, teas, jams, accessories along with savoury and sweet menu items at the tea salons. Ladurée’s Canadian licensee Olesya Krakhmalyova explained that bringing Chef Mickael to Canada was the next step in the progression of Ladurée’s Canadian operations, which now includes three standalone locations — two in Vancouver and one in Toronto.
Ms. Krakhmalyova explained that Ladurée’s pastries are only made by Laduree’s International pastry chefs, hence the investment in talent as well as a commercial kitchen space which spans about 1,500 square feet. “We have been working towards this from the beginning,” she said. The Ladurée Pastry Laboratory will serve the Vancouver boutiques and tea salon, and a Toronto Pastry Laboratory is expected to follow next year to further serve the expanding Toronto operations.
The Pastry Laboratory investment is significant, she explained, with about 90% of the equipment in the kitchen being imported from France. That includes a special oven for baking Ladurée’s famous cakes and pastries, which have become known worldwide for their unparalleled taste, exquisite beauty and consistent quality and freshness.
As Laduree Canada Executive Pastry Chef, Mickael de Monte will oversee all aspects of operations and production of the pastry laboratory in Vancouver on a consistent basis. Vancouver will now have the same product selection as Ladurée locations in international markets such as Paris, London and New York City. Ladurée operates retail locations and cafes in many of the world’s global cities — an impressive feat for the company which was established in 1862.
When Ladurée opened its first Canadian location in Vancouver at 1141 Robson Street in the spring of 2016, there were lineups for weeks to get in. That prompted a second Vancouver location to open inside of Holt Renfrew in the spring of 2017, located adjacent to the store’s expansive women’s footwear hall. In December of 2017, Toronto’s first Ladurée also saw lineups when it opened at Yorkdale Shopping Centre. The Toronto market has been receptive to Ladurée. “The Yorkdale location is doing exceptionally well,” according to Ms. Krakhmalyova.
Laduree’s Owner and President, David Holder, visited Canada earlier this year, and was incredibly happy with Laduree’s growth and expansion in Canada. He said in an earlier interview that more Canadian locations could follow, with eyes to a second location in or near downtown Toronto at some point, while the Montreal market is also being explored. Yorkdale was something of a “teaser” for Toronto, said Mr. Holder, recognizing that the Greater Toronto Area has a population exceeding six-million residents, with a population that includes immigrants as well as many avid world travellers.
We’ll follow Ladurée’s progression as the company continues to expand its operations and offerings in the Canadian market.