Ladurée Canada Unveils New Pastry Laboratory in Toronto to Serve Storefronts with Expanded Product Assortment [Exclusive Interview]

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Ladurée Canada is opening its latest pastry laboratory in Toronto to service the company’s stores.

Olesya Krakhmalyova, company owner of Ladurée Canada, said the laboratory is located in Markham.

The laboratory is combined with the company’s warehouse.

Ladurée Canada Executive Pastry Chef Alexandra Launay at Toronto Lab (Image: Ladurée)

“The laboratory is around 1,830 square feet,” she said.

“This project has been in the works for us awhile. A lot of our pastries they have to be produced fresh every day from scratch by the Ladurée French-trained chef. So in order for us to have the croissants and the cakes at our retail locations, we need to have this facility.

“This is where Ladurée cakes and pastries for Toronto locations will be produced and they will be produced fresh from scratch every single morning.”

The lab will be ready from June 26.

Ladurée Canada Chef Alexandra Launay at Toronto Lab (Image: Ladurée)

The company in Canada has stores in the Yorkdale Shopping Centre and the Exchange Tower in Toronto, Robson Street in Vancouver, and pop-up locations at the Vancouver International Airport and CF Pacific Centre.

There is also another pastry lab in Burnaby, B.C.

The first store location opened in 2016 in Vancouver. The first Toronto location opened in 2017 at Yorkdale. The B.C. laboratory opened in 2018.

Ladurée at Yorkdale Shopping Centre (Image: Ladurée)
Ladurée at Yorkdale Shopping Centre (Image: Ladurée)

Ladurée Canada’s executive pastry chef is Alexandra Launay with 13 years experience with the company, starting in 2010 in Paris. She was the leading chef for the company in London for six years.

“Ladurée pastries and cakes are produced by a Ladurée trained chef,” said Krakhmalyova.

“She wanted a new challenge and she joined Ladurée Canada which I think is an incredible aspect for the company. This differentiates us because we have this authentic Ladurée chef who will be making these croissants and cakes just as they are in Ladurée Paris.”

Paul Belanger, of Elevate Build, is the contractor who built the Toronto laboratory. He was also in charge of building Ladurée’s Yorkdale tea salon and its Exchange Tower location.

Krakhmalyova said the company does have plans to have more stores in Canada.

“Absolutely. I think definitely Montreal is on the radar and I think the Greater Toronto Area is such an incredible market. We will be opening more in the Greater Toronto Area and there are still opportunities in Vancouver as well,” she said. “So yes in terms of regular locations those are in the plans.

“But this laboratory was a priority for us to open.”

She said the laboratory was due to open by now but the COVID pandemic delayed those plans.

Ladurée Exchange Tower in Toronto (Image: Ladurée)

According to the global brand, the history of Parisian tea rooms is intimately tied to the history of the Ladurée family. It all began in 1862, when Louis Ernest Ladurée, a man from France’s southwest, created a bakery in Paris at 16 rue Royale.

“The same year, the first stone of the Garnier Opera House was laid, and the area surrounding the Madeleine was rapidly developing into one of the capital’s most important and elegant business districts. The most prestigious names in French luxury items had already taken up residence in this neighbourhood,” says the company.

“Under the Second Empire, cafés developed and became more and more luxurious. They attracted Parisian high society. Along with the chic restaurants around the Madeleine, they became the showcases of the capital. Women were also changing. They wanted to make new acquaintances, but literary salons and literature circles were outmoded.

Louis Ernest Ladurée’s wife, Jeanne Souchard, had the idea of mixing styles: The Parisian café and pastry shop gave birth to one of the first tea rooms in town. The ”salon de thé” had a definite advantage over the cafés: women could gather in complete freedom.

“Since the beginning, Ladurée has held women and children at its heart. Each pastry’s attractive colouring and flavours are designed to stimulate visually as well as gustatorially – patisserie is consumed by the eyes before it even reaches the mouth, after all. Clients come to Ladurée for a pistachio or rose religieuse, not just plain chocolate, and upon entering they find a picturesque scene, an ornate new world. They feel welcome and at home with a flavour range that you won’t find anywhere else; flavours dug out from days gone by, that they can discover with a sense of childish glee.”

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

1 COMMENT

  1. The article does not explain or provide a link to the Toronto Laboratory. Currently there are cakes that can only be ordered for people living in Vancouver. Does this mean Toronto can now order cakes from the Toronto Laboratory for delivery in Toronto?

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