On Sept. 19, a new bakery called Crème Bakery opened its doors to the Claremont public. Located on Harvard Ave in the Village, it is a short walk and definitely a must try. When I walked in, I felt like I was transported to a bakery in Europe.
Fresh pastries and other baked goods were arranged aesthetically behind pristine glass displays. Large loaves of freshly baked bread — from walnut wheat to brioche to rosemary sourdough — lined the tall shelves. The skylight, marble counter, orchids, and ornate gold frames contributed to a chic and modern look. However, the peacock blue ‘baguette’ seating gave the whole bakery a more intimate feel.
Erica Hartig Dubreuil is the owner of Crème Bakery. With her family having been in town for generations, she wanted to open up a bakery in Claremont because she believed it had the “type of energy” where “people go walk, visit, live, and shop.”
As a firm believer in the providing the best ingredients and products, she ensures all the products in the bakery are baked fresh daily.
“I want to make sure that we [can] offer very high quality items at a fair retail price, covering a spectrum of food that children through seniors would enjoy, something as simple as a chocolate chip cookie, to an elegant croissant,” Dubreuil said.
Dubreuil added that the croissant line is intended to be authentic to Paris.
“I definitely think that the croissant line we have is extraordinary,” she said. “We make our dough from scratch everyday, and you don’t see that in most of the small shops here.”
I tried the almond croissant. It was golden brown and sprinkled generously with almonds and powdered sugar. I could hear the crunch as I bit in. Like Dubreuil had promised, the croissant was scrumptious. It was buttery, wondrously flaky, and had sweet and fragrant notes of almond.
During our interview, Dubreuil mentioned she had been working on a vegan chocolate chip cookie, and had whipped up the perfect batch. Curious, I tried it and loved every bite of it. As a huge chocolate chip cookie aficionada, it had everything I looked for: crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, and gooey chocolate chips all around.
When asked about other vegan products, Dubreuil pointed me to the line of vegan muffins available. She also said that the Crème team was working on expanding the line for vegan baked goods, including items like a vegan biscuit.
Of course, I also had to try the regular chocolate chip cookie. I simply could not resist the giant cookie almost as big as my face. Unlike a lot of bakery cookies, this one was thin and crispy. It melted right in my mouth with heavenly notes of butter and sugar. Although delicious, I honestly preferred the vegan option.
The apricot danish was something Dubreuil highly recommended. It is one of her favorite pastries. It has a flaky croissant base filled with slightly sweetened cream cheese and a juicy apricot in the center. It is definitely one worth sampling.
Dubreuil is excited for Crème’s future. She grew up loving to share good food with people, and that has extended into her professional life. She hopes the bakery will run for the next 30 years or so, and promises that the bakery will continue to create new, tasty pastries.
“I wouldn’t make something that wasn’t delicious,” Dubreuil said.