In July, we celebrated our second birthday – yes, Délices is two years old! It would have been nice to have a cake to mark this special occasion, but of course the only person we would’ve entrusted to make it was pâtissière Diana – and she was much too busy creating gâteaux for our lovely customers! But we don’t mind, we’re just happy that Délices is now so well established in Bedford.
We’ve come a long way since we first opened our boulangerie-pâtisserie in July 2015. For a start, we’ve built up a brilliant team to help us. You might have met our manager Norbert as well as Gabriela, Francesca and Roxy who serve behind the counter. Then we have our behind-the-scenes staff who you may have spotted working away in the kitchen. José, a graduate of the prestigious guild of Les Compagnons du Devoir in France, is our new commis boulanger who helps Géraldine make the bread. We also have a French pâtissier joining us in September…!
The shop itself looks a little different since we opened our doors. We really wanted to bring Parisian style to Bedford so earlier this year we got rid of the existing furniture and brought in new tables and chairs to give Délices an authentic continental feel.
As for the food – well, we are constantly making new breads, pastries and cakes so our customers can experience the full taste of Paris. Our latest pastry addition is Le Breton – sweet, buttery and moist with a crunchy caramelised sugar topping! Sometimes just a tiny tweak can change everything – like our cocoa bread... first it had black Belgian chocolate, then we decided to include white Belgian chocolate too... now it’s beyond delicious!
And Diana’s cakes? Well, she’s always coming up with new creations – even if they take her quite a long time to make absolutely perfect (nothing else will do for Diana!). One of her all-time favourites is The Swan, which was inspired by her love of Bedford River. She wanted to make something white, light and graceful so she used her amazing skills to create pretty swans fashioned out of choux pastry and crème Chantilly.
One thing we’ve always done is listen to our customers so we know that they wanted more organic products. Géraldine now uses organic flours to make her breads and she recently tackled the daunting task of making organic viennoiseries. It wasn’t easy! As well as sourcing all the organic ingredients, it took some time for Géraldine to adjust her croissant-making skills to combine the organic flour with the levain to give an added mellow taste to the croissants. But she did it – and the result is delicious, even if we do say so ourselves!
Our drinks menu has evolved too. We now serve Fair Trade coffee from a local, ethical supplier – and for every 100kg of coffee we order, a tree is planted at Marston Vale. Plus we stock a very wide range of refreshing cold drinks that are Fair Trade, organic, vegan and gluten-free.
In the two years we’ve been in Bedford, we’ve loved being part of the community. We regularly have a food stall at the Willington Village Market and last month we were honoured to be Highly Commended for Best Artisan Bakery in the Bedfordshire Food and Drink Awards (we won’t say too much about this as we’ve already boasted – I mean, blogged – about our award-winning bakery!).
Who would have thought that two women would move from Paris to open a boulangerie-pâtisserie in Bedford? Well, we did – and two years on we are so lucky to have so many regular, supportive customers who love Délices as much as we do. It’s a very happy birthday indeed!
* Haven’t been to Délices yet? Pop in soon for a taste of Paris!