707 Dundas St. W.
Ok, this is definitely the cutest LITTLE patisserie in Toronto! Only about 80 square feet, Steph (the owner) offers a good selection of macarons, other pastries, and beverages at this little shop. Located at Market 707 in the Scadding Court area, Petit Nuage ("little cloud" in French) is housed in a shipping container turned shop. Yes, shipping container! From the look of Petit Nuage you'd never know.
My first visit, I stopped by for an iced matcha and macaron. The iced matcha was made first by whisking the green tea matcha using a traditional Japanese chasen or bamboo whisk. Sugar is customizable but I liked it the way it was made. Strong matcha flavour, but not strongly bitter.
The macaron I selected was her signature macaron called "Nimbus" which is a marshmallow and elderberry macaron. It ended up being a flying nimbus in my case (so embarrassing), flying right off the table due to the wind and Steph graciously offered me another one - so sweet. It was very light, like a cloud and the elderberry is unique; really reflects the patisserie! The macaron had a nice crisp shell and was not too sweet which I enjoyed.
I was quite impressed with this patisserie that I knew I had to ask more questions than usual, and so here is a mini interview with Stephanie, the owner and pastry chef at Petit Nuage.
When did you decide to open this space?
I was working part-time at a hotel, for two years, and it was always part-time work so I started to consider my options. The next best thing was to open my own space and I came across this little spot. When I first started, the space looked really different. Last August, they gave me the unit very suddenly as my first application didn't get accepted. I only had a few weeks to buy a fridge and set up!
In the last 3 or 4 months I reconfigured the space. I used to have a bit of seating across one side, but it was a bit awkward because it was so small. Got rid of the seating so I could add in more prep space and offer drinks.
Where did you study?
I studied at George Brown College (the pre-employment baking program) for a year to give me solid basics and the rest was creativity, experimental, and my hotel experience definitely gave me the bulk of my experience as we did a lot of production which allowed me to dabble in a lot of different work.
What inspired you to go into pastry work?
I was actually studying psychology for a couple of years but hated it! So I thought, why am I wasting my money and time? I decided to drop out, work for a year to save up, and enrolled in George Brown.
What have you really enjoy about opening the patisserie?
Creative freedom. I have no restrictions. If I want to make something new for the day, I'll make something new.
Advice for wannabe entrepreneurs?
Do lots of research!! Don't go jumping in willy-nilly. You've got to look at everything from every perspective; financial, design, marketing - marketing is very important, can't stress that enough! The look and design will dictate your clients. Good design is important and you need to invest and hire the right people.
Evaluate yourself too. Are you talkative? Can you multi-task? You'll be at the back and front of the house so you'll need to be a people person.
The nimbus macaron, how did it come about?
I thought it would be cute to have a macaron named after the store or relating to the store. I grew up watching Dragon Ball Z and Goku's cloud is named Nimbus so I thought it was cute. The elderberry is from a family that makes local jams and they had elderberry jam which I thought was unique. I like to offer flavours that are not too common.
How do you stay creative?
I like to do things based on season so I'll offer items based on seasonality. Everything is also based on my personal taste and I create flavour combinations that I would want to try.
On your facebook page, you mention artistic services, can you elaborate?
Oh, yes. Last year I made Christmas and birthday cards and I would also sell other artists' work, like the artist that designed the macaron boxes. (Me: love them!) I'll do custom cards but need advance notice.
I really enjoyed my first interview. Thank you Stephanie for sharing!
|The packaging is so cute! Luv the artwork.|
Afterwards, I treated myself to more macarons and a matcha cream puff.
I really enjoyed the jasmine apricot, the jasmine flavour really stood out and paired well with apricot. The yuzu honey, strawberry basil and key lime pie are seasonal and out of the three, the yuzu honey was my favourite. The basil was really strong in the strawberry basil macaron which I thought was great because this was the first time basil strong enough in a dessert, but my sister who had the other half thought it was too strong for her. Key lime pie was also nice and the pie crust flavour was really incorporated in the macaron. The HK milk tea macaron also had great flavour.
These French style cream puffs were coated with an even layer of the crispy pastry crust coating and filled with creamy matcha pastry cream. I ate this very, very quickly!
|Macaron display (half of it anyway) - the macarons are all beautiful pastel shades which I luvd!|
|Decor - sooo cute.|
|This shipping container houses multiple shops! Petit Nuage is in the centre.|