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It’s Christmas time at Saul Good, and our renowned chocolate artisans are hard at work for their busiest time of year!

One such artisan is Nadège Nourian - chef and owner of Nadège Patisserie in Toronto, Canada.

Since the opening of her shop in 2009, Nadège has had a huge impact on Toronto’s pastry scene. Showered with numerous accolades from critics, the press, and the blogosphere, Nadège is clearly viewed as the Pioneer of French Pastry in Toronto.

Somehow, in the midst of all the holiday hustle and bustle, we were able to interview Nadège about her craft and the secret sauce that makes her work so special. Read on to learn more about the celebrated chef behind the pink and orange label.

 

 

What made you want to start your own patisserie?

I grew up in Lyon, France. My parents had a restaurant and that is where I discovered my love of creating food for people to enjoy. My grandparents also had a patisserie, and I was very close to my grandmother. She was amazing at making cakes, jams and chocolates.

After she passed away, I made a Buche (traditional French dessert for Christmas) for the first time. I spent 2 days making it so I could ensure it was as good as hers!

I then went to pastry school at the Institut National Boulangerie Patisserie in France and then worked with amazing chefs throughout her career in France and the UK. They showed me how inspiring crafting desserts could be and enabled me to unleash my creativity. After those experiences, I knew I wanted to open my own store. I started Nadège Patisserie in 2009, when I was 32 years old, with my savings and a small family loan that I have now paid back.

 

What gets you excited about going to work every day?

I love to make people happy. There is great satisfaction in having people enjoy the desserts you make. Food is an amazing canvas for creativity, you can do anything you want and inspiration can be found anywhere.

 

What sets Nadège apart from similar bakeries?

I have always dreamed of creating a high-end culinary brand with the highest quality of products and a store experience different from anything else.

For instance, I hired an architect to curate the colourful pink-and-orange theme of the store. Most bakeries do not use architects. I wanted my shop to be very modern, with sleek lines, and bright, magenta-pink branding to create a unique experience for my customers as they enter every store. This design feature runs through every piece of the brand, from the bright packaging to the cakes and macaroons.

 


Every product in the store is freshly baked, and all the ingredients are made from scratch each morning. Brand authenticity and high-end quality product is what differentiates Nadège patisserie from other stores.

 

What is your greatest accomplishment?

We just celebrated our 10-year anniversary! We are so proud of our journey and what we have been able to accomplish. We have won many awards and have changed the pastry scene in Toronto!

 

What is the toughest part about your work?

Being a female small business owner, suppliers were not interested in working with me at first. They did not want to give me a chance, due to the high failure rates of small businesses. This was the same with the banks. It took three to four years until the banks would finally support me. I had trouble finding suppliers that would sell me the top-notch ingredients that I wanted during the early stages.

The challenge in this industry is that you need to be fully committed and willing to spend the majority of your time nurturing it. It is not about the money, so you need to love what you do.

 

What are people most surprised about when you tell them about your company?

We don’t have a financial partner. My husband and I built this business on our own and it is fully ours. It is unusual in this industry.

 

Where do you get inspiration for new products?

I take my inspiration from things and events happening in Toronto and around the world. At Nadège, we have taken inspiration from different festivals in Toronto. For example, for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), we made specially printed macarons that mirrored the beautiful scenery in the city (like the cherry blossoms in High Park which inspired our Pink Blossom cake.)

 

 

What is the best feedback you've ever gotten about your products? How did it make you feel?

We appreciate all the amazing feedback we receive but the best one is a kid’s smile after eating a bite of one of our delicious desserts.

 

You can find Nadege Hazelnut milk chocolate brittle in our Toronto Corporate Gift Baskets.