Editor's note: Last week, Jason Walker with Patch explored the food at . This week, Jason chats with owner Arnaud de Rambures about his bakery background.
Maple Grove Patch: How did you get into the bakery business?
Arnaud de Rambures: It started not so long ago. I always liked cooking and baking since my mother showed me. But I started my career with a humanitarian organization in Africa. Then I went to a medical device company, and I worked there in France and Africa. Then I just decided that it was extremely frustrating for me to work with a product which was made where I wouldn’t see any of the process of making it, I would just see the end product. It was frustrating not to be able to control the process from beginning to end.
Maple Grove Patch: So how did you shift career paths?
Arnaud de Rambures: When I was traveling for my previous job I was having my croissant in the Marriot, in the Hilton, in hotels all over the world. But I was always having my dry croissant with no taste at all. I realized, we had a lot of French people coming to the U.S. but they were all going to Florida, New York or California. Minneapolis is one of the best cities in the U.S. for great variety of food and people are interested in looking at better food. That was the idea: to bring the authentic way of baking breads and pastries to America.
I went to the French pastry school in Rouen which is the main school of pastry and baking in Normandy. It’s the school which is managed by the federation of bakers and pastry chefs. I opened Maple Grove in November and came to the U.S. first last June. The idea was to be as authentic as possible, so I brought all the equipment from France.
Maple Grove Patch: What should people not miss?
Arnaud de Rambures: Macarons. We are doing macarons exactly like in Paris, where they have a lot of moisture in the middle, a nice crust. The thing is, all the macarons I’ve tried here are like a hard biscuit. We are doing macarons like salted caramel, lemon and lavender. We try to look for nice flavors. Also the eclair, which Rick Nelson of the Star Tribune called the best eclair of the Twin Cities. People really like the eclair, we are doing about 150 a day. The eclair is our best-selling product. And then the chocolate croissant.
Maple Grove Patch: What do you think your bakery means to the people of Maple Grove?
Arnaud de Rambures: We have a lot of nice reviews and comments about the bakery. I would say that they like the diversity of our product line.
Maple Grove Patch: It must be nice to people to have such a high-quality bakery nearby.
Arnaud de Rambures: A lot of people thank us for that. A lot of people were really thankful and grateful that we opened here. We try to adapt our products to what the people want to have.
Maple Grove Patch: Any future plans?
Arnaud de Rambures: We are going to change our line for the winter and also include some homemade soup so people can get some soup with their salad or sandwich or quiche.