France comes to Frankton

French fare: David and Marion Lamercerie prepare baked treats in their Arrowtown kitchen

Finding the recipe for a successful business has been a long journey for one couple.

French couple David and Marion Lamercerie hope to open bakery Ma Boulangerie at Queenstown’s Remarkables Park before Christmas.

They wanted to set up a traditional patisserie in an English-speaking country, in either New Zealand or Canada.

After one day in NZ, however, Canada was put on the backburner.

Marion: “We came in autumn and it was really busy and beautiful – we thought it would be a good option. It was long and complicated to get here and there was a lot of paperwork.”

It took nine months to get visas sorted and the perfect location was slow to rise.

When the 130 square metre space in Frankton came up they jumped at it.

Marion says it’ll be a high-end French patisserie – the norm in their homeland.

“We wanted to go for really good quality, but not too expensive for customers. We want to make sure everyone can eat what we bake.”

Equipment is being shipped in from Europe including mixers and an oven. Some ingredients have also proved hard to get.

They will import Belgian chocolate and French biscuits.

Traditional French fare on offer includes baguettes, brioche, pretzels, tarts, cakes and croissants.

David says the flaky pastry is “of course” his favourite.

He’s in love with the entire process of baking – from preparing the dough, to shaping the bread, the smell while it cooks and taking that first bite.

All their savings have been absorbed setting up the bakery and Marion says they hope to employ staff to help out on the front counter once up and running.

Ma Boulangerie’s arrival comes after Hollywood Cafe opened in Queenstown’s Athol Street in July. It also continues a French theme started by Arrowtown’s Bonjour restaurant.