Eight years ago Marie and Paul Williams opened a French Patisserie and Boulangerie – Le Peche Gourmand – in a smallish, but very cute shop in Creswick. Leading up to opening and for sometime after, some people were predicting doom and gloom for their new adventure, declaring, “Why would you open a fancy bakery, it’s too up market for Creswick, it won’t last”. How wrong they were.
From the ‘get go’ the response was extremely positive with customers enjoying the delights of French pastries so much that word spread rapidly and it wasn’t long before Marie and Paul were greeting customers from far and wide.
In January this year they moved from their little shop to much larger premises that had become available two doors along the street. The expansion has been a big change and has thrown up more challenges than the couple expected. Marie said, “it has become more café than bakery and is going in directions, we hadn’t originally intended.” Adding, “When we first opened the new place, it caught the staff and us off guard, we knew it would be busier, but not as much as it has been, but we have great staff and they picked up the pace really well.” Paul said that he is amazed at how well known Le Peche has become, saying, “it makes me laugh when we go to Melbourne or other places and mention that we come from Creswick and people often ask if we know the little French pastry there.” Marie added, “even when we were in Port Douglas, someone asked us if we knew about the shop.”
French born Marie and Aussie Paul met at a Canadian resort 17 years ago. Both have travelled extensively working mainly in hospitality. Their journey to Creswick wasn’t exactly straight forward, in fact, Paul says, “it was an absolute fluke, my sister wanted us to come to Victoria to open a business in Beaufort, but the area didn’t really suit us. Then we saw that the shop was up for sale and we liked Creswick, so it was a no brainer.”
Their vision for the future is simple. While they say that they both loved the smaller shop, the larger premises and extending trading to seven days, gives them more scope. It also means they can tick along – keeping their range simple, but delicious, maintain a successful business providing good jobs in a country town and continue to enjoy a really good life that they have already established. No one can ask for more.
Both Marie and Paul said they like Melbourne and city living, but the country life suits them and their family of three children much better, although they are still developing that ‘work/life’ balance. Marie says, “the kids have learned to be resilient and that’s not such a bad thing.”
Le Peche Gourmand is closed for inhouse dining, but open for take away. You can order hampers for pick up or delivery (20kms radius max). For menu and ordering details visit the website