30 years ago, in Dallas, TX, a Frenchman named Patrick Esquerre decided to open a country cafe to celebrate his love of fresh food with the help of his mother, Monique.
Today, they operate over 60 locations around the country, and I had the opportunity to visit their newly re-designed bakery-cafe inside of NorthPark Center in Dallas.
I need to let you in on a little secret...I was already a big fan of la Madeleine BEFORE today, but now I'm even more so after touring their new cafe, meeting the founder, Patrick Esquerre, and the CEO, Phil Costner, and tasting some fresh pastries.
During our tour, I discovered that they set up their pastry station at the entrance to the cafe, so that customers can see their deliciousness being made right there! I also learned they bake their own bread on location every day! Talk about FRESH! (It smelled heavenly in there)
We were also given the opportunity to try some of their amazing pastries, and I considered it my duty to taste-test everything for the general public. You know, to guarantee their freshness and all that.
They passed. Trust me. They PASSED. DELICIOUS!!
We had an opportunity to speak with the founder, and he was just delightful. Hearing his story, his mission behind the restaurant, was inspiring. He shared a story that he and his baker shared an apartment in the beginning, and they took turns sleeping and baking. One slept, the other baked. And vice versa.
It's great to see how modern and gourmet the restaurant experience is now with their new modular kitchen and digital menu display yet it still retains that warm, quaint, country French cafe atmosphere.
Did you know they are also up on all the current social media too? I found them on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube...and they have their own BLOG!
Thanks, la Madeleine, for letting me see your new digs, talking to your peeps and the swag I got to take home.