That’s the number of croissants Greater Vancouver consumes from the infamous Faubourg Bakery in one year alone. Franck Point, Founder and owner of Faubourg Bakery, shares that this was a pleasant surprise for him when he opened his first location in Kerrisdale in 2010 (the brand has since expanded to three locations). He shares that in France, having a croissant is such a common ritual that almost everyone would enjoy a croissant while picking up the morning paper.
Franck is passionate about his craft, and because of it, Faubourg Bakery has cultivated an authentic French culture.
He insists that his staff go to the customer, there is a lack of signage and even mysterious messaging on the staff aprons to encourage customer interaction. It’s Franck’s way of prompting his customers to inquire, to be curious, about every detail within Faubourg.
The coordinates on the apron is what is referred to as “zero kilometres” in France. This location lies upon a star-shape on the ground at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, otherwise known as the absolute center of France.
Every detail is aimed at increasing interaction between the staff and customers, to build a sense of community, one of the reasons why Faubourg sees familiar faces on a daily basis - their space has become a daily routine for many members of the community.
As we chatted in the bistro area, the lineup at the counter remained persistently long, with people stopping by for their fill of croissants, pastries, and their afternoon pick me up. Compared to his experience in France, where people would only consume croissants in the morning, in Vancouver, he realized that the community sees croissants as a delicate pastry to be enjoyed at any given time of the day. This is why Faubourg bakes fresh croissants every two hours, and not just a single batch at the beginning of the day. You could come in at 2pm and you would still be getting a croissant fresh out of the oven.
So we asked Franck, what are the keys to a delicious croissant?
High-quality Ingredients: Franck says that they use the highest quality European-style butter, with the highest fat content, to ensure that the aromas are sealed into the croissant as it is baked. The croissants have been made with the same (amazing) recipe since day one by hand. Just the croissant production alone requires a team of 6!
Precise Timing: The yeast for the croissant needs to have enough time to consume sugar, produce the gas, and dig up the aroma prior to being incorporated in the dough. This is what creates to rising, or as Franck refers to it, the ‘proofing’ of the croissant. The process of making a batch of croissants takes three hours from fresh to getting into the oven. Investing so much time in one batch is a luxury, as Franck shares that on his recent trip to Paris, he discovered that many places are incentivized to push out as many croissants as they can, sacrificing on the ‘time’ element to produce as many croissants at the expense of taste.
Top Tier Equipment: The equipment is top-tier and Faubourg’s croissants are baked on site, ensuring fresh quality throughout the day. As mentioned, the croissants are fresh every two hours, with fresh batches throughout the day to give their customers the very best and most authentic aromas.
It’s no wonder that Faubourg is a beloved mainstay in the Kerrisdale neighbourhood, with their commitment to delivering an authentic, French bakery and bistro experience (yes, they also serve brunch!)
Asides from their infamous croissants, their unique pastries and traditional macaroons draw a crowd. Their seasonal Lavender Honey and Sage Mousse pictured below right is composed of a light, fluffy cream outer layer hiding a sweet strawberry gelee. The sugar crystals and the vanilla sponge cake at the bottom add texture to the pastry. One bite and you will realize the amount of thought that went into creating the perfect medley of flavours and compounding of textures.
The Green Tea Passion Fruit Mousse is the ultimate summer treat, with its sweet yet tangy taste and adorable ladybug on top. The immaculate presentation reinforces Faubourg’s commitment to excellence, to Franck’s insistence that they only serve items the would serve to people they care about most.
If you visit during lunch hour, we would recommend a visit to their bistro at the back, where you can dine quietly in an elegant space, with simple tables one would find in an authentic French bistro. Enjoy a glass of wine with their delicious croissant sandwiches accompanied by a bed of fresh greens and and potatoes, or one of their soft crepes, topped with summer berries.
If you are in the Kerrisdale area, stop by the original Faubourg Bakery to experience the heritage rich community. People start their morning here with a croissant and coffee, friends linger in the afternoon over delicate pastries and aromatic teas, and families enjoy a hearty lunch in the bistro - there’s a culinary experience for everyone. We won’t judge if you end up leaving with a dozen freshly baked croissants and a box of macarons.
2156 W 41st Ave, Vancouver, BC
Photos: Florence Leung