Mademoiselle Colette, a French bakery based in Menlo Park, is opening a third location in downtown Redwood City in the former home of Pamplemousse Pâtisserie, which closed late last year.
“I’ve been looking to come to Redwood City for a while because it’s a growing city and has so much potential and I don’t think the downtown has enough options,” said owner and founder Debora Ferrand. “A nice pastry shop can really improve the downtown and it will be very Parisian like my other locations.”
Ferrand hopes to be serving Redwood City customers by Valentine’s Day.
The menu largely features traditional French pastries as well as light lunch and dinner fare, including quiche, a croque monsieur and a variety of salad. Her most popular pastries are the kouign-amann, a sweet cake from Brittany, and Ferrand makes another version of it with goat cheese and ham; and the almond croissant, which is soaked in syrup, twice baked so the pastry is caramelized and then filled with almond cream. The result is relatively flat compared to plain croissants, which sometimes surprises Americans who don’t realize Ferrand’s version of the pastry is the way it’s traditionally made in France.
Everything is made from scratch and with local and organic products — nothing is ever frozen — and Ferrand imports butter from France for her creations. The fat-to-water ratio of French butter is different than American butter, she said, and makes for a flakier pastry crust.
“I’m very picky with the quality of products I use,” she said.
The menu will also evolve once a new executive chef from France, Nicolas Agraz, joins Ferrand in January. Agraz has years of experience with renowned Parisian chefs, including Pierre Hermé, Christophe Michalak and Christophe Vasseur.
“Leveraging [Agraz’s] passion for amazing pastries and fine Parisian gastronomy, he plans to deliver new and amazing experiences for customers by crafting a new range of seasonal, fresh and organic products that are the trademark of Mademoiselle Colette,” a statement reads.
Ferrand attended Le Cordon Bleu culinary school and worked for 10 years in the fashion industry there before moving to the Bay Area seven years ago.
“I was missing Paris at first and had some trouble finding places for a good croissant,” she said. “In Paris, you have a boulangerie on every block and, in Menlo Park, I’m the only one.”
Next year, Ferrand plans to offer a wider variety of bread — she currently bakes baguette and brioche, and wants to bake sourdough and focaccia as well.
The Redwood City location will also be open later than the other two locations and will offer a selection of local and French wine, Champagne and beer.
Ferrand named her bakery after her late mother and a French writer, who was famous in the 1930s, both named Colette.
“Mademoiselle Colette really comes from my heart,” she said. “I’m really excited to come to Redwood City. It has an energy and there’re more families and young people. It’ll be very cool.”
(650) 344-5200 ext. 102