Amongst the chain operations, there are still family-owned bakeries in Massachusetts. At La Patisserie in Winchester, customers have been enjoying cakes, cupcakes, fresh baked goods and more since 1970.
Chef Stephen Pazyra, who purchased the store with his wife Danette more than 20 years ago, appreciates that his customers have been so loyal over the years. "We have a strong following of local residents who hang out in our shop. They are our neighbors. We know them by name, we know their kids and, after 30 years, we are starting to know their grandkids," Pazyra says. He explains that he strives to provide the neighborhood with personal service in addition to delicious pastries.
Of course, the pastries do matter. What makes La Patisserie special is that it still does things the old-fashioned way, using traditional European recipes. Pazyra says that over the holidays, they ship Christmas Stollen- a kind of German fruit cake- all over the country. "We also hand make our croissants and puff pastry on premise. I believe our "scratch" recipes set us apart from American bakeries who often use pre-made fillings and doughs," Pazyra says.
For special occasions like birthday parties, anniversaries, and weddings, La Patisserie crafts custom cakes. Pazyra describes how each cake becomes a hand-decorated work of art. Take a look at two examples of these amazing cakes above.
"We use fondant, edible images which can be applied to cakes and cookies. We use fresh flowers, icing flowers and modeling chocolate. Some of these techniques are very labor intense and can be expensive. People often don't realize that a cake they see on TV may have taken 6 hours to make. We have to educate our customers so they select the best fit for their taste and budget."
Though La Patisserie offers mostly baked goods, it also provides customers with breakfast items, lunch, and a variety of breads. In the midst of a particularly cold winter, Pazyra says that his chicken pot pies have been flying off the shelves. People craving comfort food head to their neighborhood bakery.
How, we asked, has La Patisserie been able to maintain its success over the past 45 years? Pazyra says it has a lot to do with consistency. "Business is based on trust. If a customer trusts that you will continually strive to prepare quality products you will have a loyal customer."
To see more of all the decadent sweets they offer, take a look at their website here!