Atherton Mademoiselle Colette opening delayed | Peninsula Foodist | The peninsula foodist
By Angela Swartz
Athertonians will have to wait a little longer to satiate their sweet cravings with the delay of a new cafe coming to town.
The owner of local French patisserie Mademoiselle Colette, Debora Ferrand, had hoped for an autumn opening of her last cafe in Atherton’s new library, but difficulty finding a contractor pushed it back until January 2023.
Mademoiselle Colette, who operates cafes in Redwood City, Palo Alto and Menlo Park, as well as a ghost kitchen in Mountain View, planned to start making $151,000 in upgrades to the 250-square-foot space at 2 Dinkelspiel Station. Lane in May or June, but work has not yet started.
“We have the same problem in everything right now,” she said. “It’s so hard to find people (to do the job). … I’m disappointed. I get emails every day about ‘when are you open?’ It’s a new economy, a new reality. We have to be patient.
Ferrand said she is now awaiting final electrical and plumbing reports. She will then apply for a building permit from the municipality.
She said part of managing the “new reality” is an economy that has shipping delays and understaffing.
She is “a bit sad” that it won’t be open in time for Christmas, but is looking forward to serving La Galette des Rois, or King’s Cake, which usually has a little trinket or figurine hidden inside, to her customers in January. The cake is traditionally made of two circles of puff pastry with frangipane (almond cream).
Although she cannot serve the cake with a figurine, the French tradition is to serve the cake on Epiphany, January 6, which marks the arrival of the three Magi in Bethlehem who presented gifts to the child. Jesus. Whoever finds the jewel is king or queen for the day and wears a gold crown.
Ferrand referred to the cafe as a “baby Colette” or “little sister” to his other cafes. She envisions him having a more youthful look, replacing the ivy color of his other cafes with pastels and a wall with paper flowers.
“The overall look and design will be different, it will be a bit younger and fresher,” she said. “Because this space is so small, I want to create a slightly different vibe.”
The cafe is located in the new $19.1 million, 10,000 square foot library. The library is part of the city’s $32 million civic center project.
Ferrand opened the local company’s first cafe on Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park in 2015. Born in Brazil but raised in France, she attended Le Cordon Bleu and studied at Alain Ducasse’s school in France .
As there is no kitchen on the Atherton site, it will serve similar items but adapt them. For example, her avocado toast (which will be made on homemade sourdough bread with pomegranates, sesame seeds, onions, pickles and lime sauce) would come without a poached egg.
She plans to prepare food in the Menlo Park kitchen and heat it up in a counter oven in Atherton. Offers include raspberry financiers, éclairs, a variety of salads and sandwiches (including croque monsieurs), as well as hot drinks, according to its proposal to the city.
Some $30,000 of the planned renovations will go to food equipment, according to the cafe’s proposal. A bridge and a terrace of approximately 2,000 square feet face the café area.
Rent will be free for the cafe’s first year of operation, then it will pay 4% of the cafe’s previous month’s revenue, capped at $35,000 per year.
Miss Colette has signed a five-year lease with the city, according to City Manager George Rodericks.
She hopes to bring a small ice cream and coffee cart to the Atherton cafe, as well as a tea service. Wine is also a possibility, if Ferrand can get a liquor license.
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