By Craig Patterson
Upscale French bakery and sweets maker Ladurée will open its second Toronto location in November this year in the heart of the city’s Financial District. It will be the fourth Ladurée location in Canada, after the company entered the country by opening a storefront in Vancouver about three and a half years ago.
Ladurée’s second Toronto location will be in the retail component of The Exchange Tower, part of a commercial centre that includes several skyscrapers that soar above the iconic King and Bay intersection. Ladurée will be located across from a Starbucks in a busy part of Toronto’s underground PATH pedestrian network.
The Exchange Tower Ladurée will measure about 680 square feet, according to Ladurée’s Canadian licensee Olesya Krakhmalyova. A signature macaron display will draw customers in, with a selection of about 14 flavours of macarons (including classic as well as seasonal varieties). An intimate seating area for 16 patrons will be found within, and several more seats will be included in a ‘macaron bar’ within the new retail space.
Ms. Krakhmalyova explained that the new space was designed with a ‘contemporary touch’ to the classic Ladurée look. Given its location in a busy corporate setting, visitors to the new Exchange Tower Ladurée will be able to enjoy a business coffee break and consume other Ladurée items, including coffees/teas ‘to go’ — the retailer won’t divulge all of the details as to how the location will look, though we were told that the space’s Macaron Bar will be serving macarons, small sweet and savoury items and drinks.
Besides Ladurée’s signature macarons, the new Exchange Tower location will include a range of madeleines, financiers, loaf cakes, ice creams, Ladurée savoury quiches and salads ‘to go’, as well as coffees and teas ‘to go’, chocolates and a selection of Ladurée accessories for gift options. Given the location in the Financial District, Ladurée will be available for corporate orders and will provide a delivery service, according to Ms. Krakhmalyova.
Beauleigh Retail Consultants, which handles leasing for the Exchange tower as well as various other commercial properties in the core, negotiated the deal on behalf of the landlord. The contractor building out the space will be Elevate Build Inc., which is a new company that was founded by industry professional Paul M. Bélanger.
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. That was followed by a second Vancouver location in March of 2017 with the opening of a 500 square foot Ladurée concession (including an 18-seat tea salon) at Vancouver’s Holt Renfrew flagship, adjacent to the store’s overhauled 8,500 square foot women's designer footwear salon. The Holt Renfrew location has since been converted to a ‘Ladurée carriage’ with the former location having made way for new footwear boutiques for luxury brands Chanel and Dior.
In December of 2018, Ladurée opened its first Toronto location at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre. The 1,185 square foot storefront is located across from luxury brands including Chloé, Mr. and Mrs. Italy and Saint Laurent. Ladurée’s Yorkdale storefront features a retail area as well as a 26-seat tea salon. Claudia Ravnbo designed the Yorkdale Ladurée, which was the first in the world to reflect a new design aesthetic with an interior inspired by the colonial style of the 18th century.
The pastel pink tea room is decorated with a white marble sales counter that is accentuated with gold lattice details and gold Lattice is also present on the walls of the salon. A Classic crystal chandelier contrasts with contemporary madeleine lights hanging from the ceilings, as well as the geometric marble tile flooring and velvet-accented furniture. The store’s soaring ceilings are dramatic with plaster ceiling treatments.
Ladurée opened a dedicated bakery space in Vancouver in the summer of 2018 to provide Ladurée’s Vancouver locations with fresh baked pastries. Chef Mickael de Monte relocated from Paris to Vancouver to run it. Ms. Krakhmalyova explained that bringing Chef Mickael to Canada was the next step in the progression of Ladurée’s Canadian operations.
A Toronto pastry laboratory is expected to open at some point as well, though there isn’t a specific timeline, according to Ms. Krakhmalyova. Thus, the new Toronto location will not yet offer croissants and other viennoiseries (baked goods), though that is expected to change at some point next year when a location is secured and 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 27 countries, including several in the United States.
We’ll update this article with photos of the new Toronto Financial District Ladurée when it opens in November.
Now located in Toronto, Craig is a retail analyst and consultant at the Retail Council of Canada. He's also the Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for the past 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees. He is also President & CEO of Vancouver-based Retail Insider Media Ltd. Email Craig: email@example.com