Julienne’s Patisserie sweetens the intersection of Main and Gerrard streets

Jessica Lee's bakery, Julienne’s Patisserie, pays homage to her late grandmother. “It was our dream to open a bakery together, so this is in her honour,” Lee said. Photo: Nafisat Alao.

By NAFISAT ALAO

As the owner of the newly opened Julienne’s Patisserie, Jessica Lee can’t remember a time when she wasn’t baking.

“I have been a pastry chef for as long as I can remember. I grew up baking with my grandma and started baking professionally in high school. Food has been my life… this is what I was meant to do,” she said.

Located on Gerrard Street East just west of Main Street in the Upper Beach, Lee named the bakery after her late grandmother, and its sweet and savoury treats include French macarons, pies, quiches, specialty teas and coffees, and made-to-order cakes and cookies.

“It was our dream to open a bakery together, so this is in her honour. She always went by Julie, but her full name is Julienne, and this is my homage to her,” Lee said.

Lee said she has always loved the Beaches neighbourhood having worked in the community in the past, which also made her want to stay and open up a business of her own here.

Her love of food and travelling inspired her to open up the bakery, she said.

I love Europe — Paris is my favourite place to go. I spent a month there after college to explore and learn a little bit more about pastries and did a little bit of work there and that’s what inspired me to open this place up and do what I do,” she said.

The bakery’s charming ambiance draws inspiration from Parisian elegance, featuring delightful fresh flowers on tables and comfy seating adorned in a harmonious blend of pink and gold accents.

The bakery provides gluten-free and vegan pastry options for customers. Although her bakery is not a nut-free facility, she does have a lot of pastries, such as her cupcakes and scones, that don’t contain nuts.

She also offers catering services for special occasions such as weddings, birthdays and baby showers.

Lee believes that what sets her bakery business apart from others comes down to the curation of desserts, attention to detail and service that goes into her business.

“It’s definitely the care and the thought process that I put behind the design and the curating process behind all of the deserts that I have. All of it is taken from all of my travels…I go somewhere and I want to make the desert and show other people without them having to travel to that place themselves,” Lee said.

“What also sets us apart is we really care about our customer service, we make sure that everyone is comfortable and knows this is a welcoming place to sit and chill and bring family and friends,” she added.

So far, she says she has received very positive feedback from her customers and the surrounding businesses since opening her business in the community.

“It has been great, this community is truly unreal. There’s such a partnership between the businesses as well as the community itself and they really want to see you succeed,” Lee said.

She mentioned that it would be her dream to grow her business to more than it is now but she also doesn’t want to grow too fast.

“In a dream world I would love for this to be a chain, and franchise it, but I want to make sure to not grow too fast and have the quality fade away,” she said.

Her goal is to carry and produce quality products that she loves to make and carry items from other local businesses and support people in the neighbourhood.

The bakery is located at 2195 Gerrard Street East. For more information about the bakery or to visit their website juliennes.ca and their social media page on Instagram.


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