(This article appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
Chris Hanmer, Chef-Owner
Beautiful food is not an end in itself. A beautiful pastry creates a beautiful moment at the table as it’s shared, and a beautiful memory long afterward. We elevate food as a way of elevating life. Let’s put it this way: We are not here to change the food in Sioux Falls, we are here to change Sioux Falls through food.
The French Macaron remains our signature offering because it encapsulates our philosophy of delight and taste innovation in a delicate form. Our loyal fans are thrilled that we also offer over fifteen types of viennoiserie and petits gâteaux, not to mention a full range of espresso, coffee and French hot chocolate. Each month we introduce fresh takes on classic pastries so that there is always something new to discover.
At the beginning, I kept the entire planning process for the week in my hands alone. But I always believed there was a better path: to bring the whole team into production planning. I made a conscious decision to break from the mold, which ended up unleashing us in terms of both creativity and productivity – giving us a shared vision and bringing this incredible cohesiveness to every detail of what we do.
Six years ago, we were making 200,000 macaron shells a year – and I was hand-piping each and every one of them. At that point, we made one of the best investments in a piece of equipment we’ve ever made: we bought a depositor. Thanks to this machine, production time was cut from hours to minutes, making it a “must have” for us. Equipment is great, by the way, but make sure you also invest in the right training to use it effectively.
Secret of Success
The most important factor to success over time is one of the simplest: consistent quality. Customers get the message that everything is excellent, every single time. If we’re going to offer something, we master it, and then we make it with the same expertise every time. If you hit that standard, people will travel hundreds of miles just to experience it.
An unsung legacy of businesses like ours is the impact on our team. The shared experiences and growth that comes from building and being part of a team – it’s all so incredible, this sense of community. And all our plans for the future really flow from the quality of our team, knowing that whatever we take on, this is the talent that will make it flourish.
Visit www.chpatisserie.com for more info
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