Meet the Chef
Jean-Marc is a third generation baker from a small town in Brittany, in the northwest part of France, known for buttery pastries.
As he says, “I was born in the flour”. Though his father and grandfather were bread bakers who owned boulangeries (bread bakeries), Jean-Marc went on to become a pâtissier (a pastry and cake baker).
After completing formal schooling and a four year apprenticeship with Master Pastry Chef George Merlet in Chateaubriant, France, Jean-Marc headed to the States, arriving in Cape Cod, Massachusetts in 1983.
After a while, he traveled west to Los Angeles and worked in several well known restaurants and French pastry shops before meeting his Pittsburgher wife, who promptly insisted they move to Pittsburgh.
Jean-Marc worked as the Executive pastry chef for Pittsburgh’s renowned La Normande restaurant and Nemacolin Woodlands Resort before opening his bakery in Millvale in 1992.
Though his customer base has grown, Jean-Marc keeps his bakery small, more similar to a typical French village patisserie. Staying small allows him to oversee every stage of production, assuring that his high standards of quality are maintained.
Interacting with his customers is as much a part of Jean-Marc’s daily routine as is rolling dough, pounding butter and icing cakes. As the quips and barbs fly, so does feedback on his product. This daily feedback serves to guide his response to the culinary trends and traditions popular among Pittsburgh’s diverse population. As one Yelp reviewer wrote, “Jean-Marc has figured out how to create a Pittsburgh AND French bakery.”
The special something found when you make your way to Millvale and venture through the blue wooden doors comes from the marriage of a French guy to a Pittsburgh gal. And, it comes from Jean-Marc’s ability to draw from his classical French training to create desserts that please the wide range of tastes that truly make Pittsburgh some place special.
Running the bakery doesn’t leave much spare time, but when Jean-Marc is not behind his wooden work bench, he heads down to The Millvale Riverfront Park to train for The Pittsburgh Marathon, follows local sports teams (especially Pittsburgh Penguins Hockey), and keeps track of European Football.
C’est la vie!