주제 기사 Couple behind San Diego’s Le Parfait Paris pastry shops enjoy sweet taste of success은(는) 인터넷에서 저희가 편집했습니다.
Couple behind San Diego’s Le Parfait Paris pastry shops enjoy sweet taste of success
French entrepreneurs turned a farmer’s market stand into a five-store chain known for authentic croissants, macarons, tarts and more
Back in 2012, aspiring San Diego entrepreneur Guillaume Ryon read an article about Starbucks buying the French-style bakery chain La Boulangere for $100 million and an idea started baking in his head.
Like his wife, Ludivine Mas, Ryon grew up in Paris. After moving to San Diego to attend college in 2008, they both noticed there were only a couple French-inspired bakeries and pastry shops in the San Diego region. Maybe the local market was hungry for its own authentic Parisian pastry branch? The result was Le Parfait Paris, which the couple started with some investors at a local farmer’s market in 2014. On April 12, they opened their fifth retail store at Coronado’s Ferry Landing center at 1201 First St.
Le Parfait Paris specializes in traditional French pastries, macaron cookies, croissants, crepes, savory sandwiches and brunch items. Guillaume, who has a background in banking, is the company’s chief executive officer. Ludivine, who went to restaurant management and culinary school in Paris and previously worked in San Diego’s hotel industry, is chief of operations.
Ludivine said she wasn’t sure starting a business with her husband would be healthy for their marriage, but Guillaume said he eventually wore down her resistance. Now they say the only threat to their health is eating too many fresh-from-the-oven croissants.
“The big thing we wanted, which was too soon for San Diego when we started it, was we wanted a pastry shop exactly the same way it would be in Paris,” Guillaume said. “That’s what defined us. We wanted to be authentic and didn’t want to compromise on anything. Our croissant lines are still done by hand with butter from Europe and New Zealand, and we use only French chocolate in all of our desserts, which is not too sweet.”
Guillaume’s favorite menu item is the Parfait Signature, a layered chocolate mousse layered dessert similar to the pastry known as Louis XV. Ludivine loves the croissants and pear amandine tart. She also loves surprising her customers with new desserts and crepes made with seasonal fruits. Over the years, the couple expanded their menu to suit California tastes, adding savory croissant sandwiches and brunch items, which now make up 20 percent of store sales.
Guillaume said the key to their success was building a central cooking “lab” in the Mission Gorge area to ensure recipe oversight and baking consistency. Initially they started by selling pastries at farmers markets and then built up a wholesale clientele among local hotels, restaurants and coffee shops. Business was growing, but wholesale clients sometimes took up to 90 days to pay their bills. To avoid cash flow problems, the couple decided in 2016 to give up their wholesale business and focus only on their own pastry shops and online sales via their website (parfaitparis.com) and Amazon.
Their first Le Parfait Paris shop opened in 2015 at 555 G St. in the Gaslamp Quarter. The following year, a second shop opened in the Liberty Public Market at 2820 Historic Decatur Road, San Diego. In 2021, they opened stores in the Sky Deck, 3790 Townsgate Drive, Del Mar, and the Anaheim Packing District food hall in Anaheim.
Guillaume said they hope to expand their business to 10 stores in San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties and then look at growing into new foodie-heavy markets like Austin, Texas. While he initially came up with the idea of launching Le Parfait Paris to one day sell the business for a lucrative price, Guillaume said he is just as happy to continue running this business for the long-term, despite the damage the pastries do to his waistline.
One reason is the personal connection he and Ludivine made with their customers over the past two years. The Bankers Hill residents couldn’t find enough workers to staff their Gaslamp Quarter shop during the pandemic, so they worked the counter themselves, making coffee drinks and bagging up croissants for takeout orders. The positive comments they got from grateful customers made them both proud to be delivering a Paris-quality product to their neighbors.
“We still believe in our product and we think we’re getting better and better,” Guillaume said.
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