We do not cross Magnolia by chance, we go there on purpose. This small peninsula forms a charming neighborhood with breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound from its famous Discovery Park. But Magnolia is also a village where locals gather in the many high-end cafes and shops and host a farmer’s market in the summer. On W McGraw Street, Alex and Laure opened their bakery and we had the pleasure of meeting them. They were kind enough to answer our questions.
When did Petit Pierre Bakery open? Where does the name come from?
Petit Pierre Bakery opened in October 2015, 3 and a half years ago. As for the name, after a long search, we finally found it 15 days before the opening: Pierre is the name of our son. “Petit Pierre” gives a loving side to the name that is also easy to pronounce.
Why Seattle, why Magnolia?
We lived 4 years in Tahiti and on our return trip to Paris, with the project to open a bakery, we stopped in Seattle, discovered the city and fell in love. We returned 1 year later, to finalize our installation.
We love Seattle for its quality of life, its economic vitality, its climate, its nature, its easy-going side.
The choice of Magnolia is a coincidence, we were looking for local and found those available, which were those of an old bakery and close to downtown. Magnolia is a very pleasant neighborhood to live.
What is your background?
We have a very varied course. Laure was born in Belfort in eastern France. After 20 years in business, she decided in 2012 to change careers and trained in the best pastry schools: Lenôtre, Bellouet Conseil and Ferrandi and graduated with a pastry chef degree.
As for me, I come from Vernon in Normandy, having worked in the public law sector for 15 years in the services of the Prime Minister, I went back to school and graduated with a degree in baking in 2013. My parents owned a bar-tabac, and as a child I used to be in constant contact with customers.
What breads do you offer? What are your specialties in pastry and pastry?
We have fresh bread daily from our partner Tall Grass Bakery (French baguette, country bread, sourdough). Petit Pierre Bakery also bakes its own wholemeal bread.
As pastries we offer croissants and derivatives (croissants with almonds and pistachios, kouign-amanns, apple turnovers, etc.), waffles, éclairs, napoleons, clafoutis, macaroons (with ganache ), madeleines, quiche lorraines, ham sandwiches, etc.
At Petit Pierre Bakery, everything is homemade.
What is your clientele?
Our clientele is 90% local, like the neighborhood. Petit Pierre Bakery also hosts a small local French community or from other neighborhoods.
Have you adapted to your American clientele? Have you developed new recipes? Could you give us some examples?
A permanent adaptation to our customers is crucial. We meet the expectations of an American clientele by keeping a French touch: muffins, cookies, granola, pop tart, cinnamon rolls, brownies are great classics. And in salty: salty croissants, hot dog brioche, soup of the day.
Petit Pierre Bakery offers a series of gluten-free, lactose-free and low-sugar pastries.
Petit Pierre Bakery also has an offer for every major moment of the year: King Patties, Valentine’s Day, New Orleans King Cake for Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas.
Do you offer a catering service?
No, but it is possible to order cakes for specific occasions such as birthdays.
What are your favorite addresses in Magnolia?
We enjoy Chinook’s at Salmon Bay, located at the Seattle Fishermen Terminal, which includes an excellent seafood restaurant and a fish shop (among others).
In the neighborhood, we really like “Magnolia Bookstore”, one of Seattle’s few independent bookstores, “Magnolia Garden Center” for its plants, flowers and gifts, Studio K Design Haircut.
Magnolia also offers Asian, Greek, Italian and Mexican restaurants. The Magnolia Chamber of Commerce is very active in promoting our neighborhood and business opportunities.
A last word on Petit Pierre Bakery?
Our bakery is also famous for its varied and quality coffees. We exclusively use the Stumptown coffee brand, based in Portland (by the way, Stumptown was the old name of the city of Portland). We use in our drinks the French brand of syrup Monin and produce our own lemonade.
We are happy to participate in the development of Magnolia and even if the work is intense, we always have so much pleasure, with our team, to give the best of ourselves, innovate and satisfy our customers.
Thank you !
Propos recueillis par Emmanuelle et Ariane