After 35 years in business, this family-run bakery and cafe, will be closing its doors in May. The owner, Elizabeth Sidy, talking to The Grid explained it's because they want to take a well deserved break from the tiring schedule of running a bakery.
"It’s been a long run and we were lucky to enjoy it very much. But now, to get up at 4 a.m. is too much—we’re not getting younger, so we’re working to stop,”
We had a chance to write a short story about the bakery last year and now we've updated it with some great photos of the patisserie. We will miss Patachou and their delicious croissants greatly. Surely you will as well.
“We strive to make everything that we would like to eat ourselves, of very good quality, and that pleases our customers.”
According to Camille Serebecbere, these are the guiding principles behind her family’s long-lived Rosedale bakery, Patachou Patisserie, which is located at 1120 Yonge Street, on the Southwest corner of Yonge and Macpherson Avenue.
First opened in 1978, Patachou Patisserie has become a fixture in the lives of some local residents, and has — according to Ms. Serebecbere — changed very little in its 35 years of operation. Although it functions as a traditional bakery with a thriving wholesale business and a staff of around 30 people, the public part of the patisserie is a fairly small, almost cozy space with a few tables and chairs near the window for those who wish to dine onsite.
Sarabecbere describes Patachou’s recipes as
“very traditional, French, and what we like,”
but customers have had some say in the bakery’s selection as well.
“Sometimes — because we’ve become such a staple in some people’s daily lives… we think that want to change something, or remove something just to add something new, and we can’t because people would be very disappointed.”
Although somewhat disappointing for bakers longing to experiment, Sarabecbere is quick to point out that this is generally “a good problem to have,” and it has not prevented the recent introduction of sour cherry tarts to their selection.
The quality of the ingredients used in Patachou creations is another aspect of the business that Sarabecbere emphasises. The family buys local produce when possible, to the point that some of their offerings change with the seasons. Autumn, for instance, brings with it “almost a waiting list” of customers eager for plum tarts — which are not made during the rest of the year.
The long-lasting loyalty of the patisserie’s patrons can be matched by that of its employees.
“Our staff stays with us for a very, very long time,”
“We have waitresses here who have been with us for more than 20 years. They really get to know the customers, and they get to know the customers’ children, and then the children grow up, and we get to know them, and then their children.”
MEET THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Bea Labikova
Bea Labikova is a Toronto based musician, photographer, teacher and a multidisciplinary visual artist. Growing up surrounded by her father’s antique camera collection, Bea was naturally inclined towards photography since an early age. She loves taking portraits of unique faces and always tries to capture the colours of the world around us. Her main areas of interest are documentary, performance and travel photography.