“Don’t let all the glitter and velvet fool you.”Zidler, Moulin Rouge
Visiting Paris, the land of laminated dough, this month made my thoughts trail back to the beginning of the pandemic. In 2020, during a trip to Venice Beach before the world changed, I watched pastry chefs at 5am through the window of Gjusta on Sunset Avenue make morning goods whilst I stood outside, jet-lagged and salivating. Chefs are a friendly bunch, and they didn’t seem to mind my presumptuous peeping at their patisserie performance.
It was a titillating theatre of the conception of baked pastries. But it was so much more than that. It was a window into the hard work, commitment, dedication, and sacrifice that it takes to create a product and see it flourish into something worth savouring.
It’s one thing to start a business, it’s another to lead it, to develop its potential. There are late nights, early mornings, and everything in between, there’s cradling and coaxing, and periods of questioning that you hope your conviction will overcome.
During my trip to Paris, I visited some favourite old haunts, and discovered new ones, all run by dedicated and passionate individuals, each artists in their own right, working hard for success that is not guaranteed. I’ve listed a few below:
The unleavened croissant will never rise, but the ones nurtured and lovingly invested in will become fully fledged crescents of glory. I hope the hard work continues to turn to triumph for all these lovely little businesses, because I know the challenges they face.