Life is all about the little things. Watching the leaves fall from the trees in autumn. Drinking in the mid-afternoon sun. Savouring that first sip of morning coffee. Or, finding that a new bakery opened up in your neighbourhood.
Thanks to Nate Box (who will be opening his own restaurant, Elm Cafe, soon enough), I found out about Duchess Bake Shop, located in the High Street area within walking distance of Mack’s place, and right along my homeward bound bus route. I stopped in on Monday to check them out, and found that they had only been open a whirlwind three days.
The shop has a chic, sophisticated feel about it, with hardwood floors and a dominant white interior. A chandelier and a handful of tables and chairs round out the space, helpful for those looking to stay and pair their indulgence with something from the bakery’s cafe menu.
Owners Garner and Giselle Beggs have been thinking about opening a bakery for years. Fresh from a four year sojourn in Tokyo, they decided the time was ripe to return and make their dream a reality. Although Duchess offers many French-inspired treats (croissants, macarons, madelines), Garner says they aren’t restricting themselves to a French repertoire, with apple and banana cream pies also available, among other treats. Everything is made from scratch without preservatives – even the food colouring they use is from natural sources.
I picked up two croissants ($1.50 each) for Mack and I to serve as a savoury bridge to dinner. They smelled of butter, and on first bite, had that crispy-crunchy texture I look for in a croissant. Mack didn’t like it as much (he prefers the softer variety), but I’d buy it again.
Duchess also serves croissant sandwiches, which would make it an interesting destination for lunch. Or, like the couple who filed into the shop after me – for those looking for something to “make a bad day better”. I will be back.
Duchess Bake Shop
10720 124 Street
Hours as of October 26, 2009: Wednesday 9am-6pm, Thursday-Friday 9am-8pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 10am-5pm, closed Mondays and Tuesdays
32 thoughts on “Edmonton’s Newest Bakery: Duchess Bake Shop”
Wow, great find! I’ll add it to my ‘Glenora’ food destinations, including Paddy’s Cheese and Hellas Food…that is a fortunate food part of town. I’m jealous – the closest food destination I have is the Petro up the road. Although they do have good Slurpees.
OMG. I have been craving macarons since my trip to Bouchon Bakery in Napa. I must try some of this.
Oooh, this is so exciting!! We have been looking for a place in Edmonton to buy croissants like you can get in Paris. These look like they are the real deal … I will have to go there soon!
Great news for 124th – another step forward. And forward for Westmount too (Foodie Suz – Hellas Food, Colonel Mustard’s, etc are proud Westmount shops, not Glenora! And I think High Street really only refers to the strip from 124th St south along 102nd Ave).
Garner and Giselle are friends of mine: not only are they amazing people, they are also have a talent for baking supremely tasty fare.
Hooray, macarons have FINALLY arrived! It was rather depressing to realize that while I could find macarons throughout Australia last fall, I couldn’t source them back home in Edmonton.
I was told about these amazing croissants and they do not fail to please. The shortbreads, madelines, pain au chocolat and blueberry muffins are to die for as well. I tried the florentines as well, not to my taste as they do not have fruit and they are not chewy .But as i sit here nibbling away on a lemon madeline i forgive them. Must go now off to the gym lol
I was just going to write to you about this bakery Sharon! Finally a place in Edmonton where we can nosh on macaroons or macarons, en français! Fantastique!
Definately will stop on by my next time in Edmonton, oui oui!
Just stopped in at Duchess today and was amazed at how good everything was! I don’t know what is my favourite, the macarons, the madelines, the pain au chocolat? It is all so lovely.
Wow. Macarons in Edmonton? I never thought I’d see the day. We ate them daily when we were in Paris. Hooray for Garner and Giselle for making our city a better place to live!
I’m sure it’s delicious and all, but does the Alberta herd really need to get any fatter and unhealthy? Really??
I don’t think the treats at Duchess are meant to be gourged on – because they are quite rich and of high quality, you’re meant to just savour one or two. Everything in moderation!
Mon Dieu Junicky! Why are you raining on our macaron parade?
I am excited to see what an impact this has on 124th street. It is ready to bloom but just needed a tenent like this.
Looking forward to trying it out.
We went on a Monday and it was closed —
To save yourself a trip (from their website):
“As of October 26th, 2009 our hours will be:
Monday – closed
Tuesday – closed
Wednesday – 9:00 – 6:00
Thursday – 9:00 – 8:00
Friday – 9:00 – 8:00
Saturday 10:00 – 6:00
Sunday 10:00 – 5:00
Hi Kate – thanks for posting the new hours – it has been something I’ve been meaning to update for some time. Garner also indicated that he hopes the Tuesday closure is temporary.
bravo giselle et garner. les macarons sont fantastiques… finally we have a chic french bake shop in edmonton !
Its a good delicious bakeshop. Macarons are quite expensive. I tried it only for myself, but can’t share it with my entire family for occassion will cost me $100 plus just to share it Compare with cupcakes are bigger and will satisfy you to eat only one piece of cupcake. Macarons are so tiny and expensive. This bakeshop will get more money if they make it affordable to people. People will tend to buy macarons to taste it, but too expensive to share it to anyone.
I agree. The macarons are expensive. I got 6 to try and that cost me $9! But that’s their signature item and that’s a reason to jack the price up… Everything else is quite affordable – and I don’t mind because the quality and good taste is definitely there.
Also–I will be attempting to make my own macarons, since they are a bit much to purchase at Duchess.
Raquel and FoodieMcPoon – Garner of Duchess said that the ingredients used to make macarons (notably, almond flour) isn’t cheap, and well, I know I would have a hard time attempting them myself!
But good luck with your adventures! Valerie’s post might be a good start: http://www.acanadianfoodie.com/2010/09/12/salted-caramel-macaron/
Sweet! Thanks for the suggestion. I’m sure it’ll help alot. One of these days when I have time, i’ll try and see how it goes. 🙂
Also: i went to Duchess yesterday and they are now open on Tuesdays!
I haven’t been back in a while, so I didn’t know that – thanks! (Funny how moving can mean you rarely find yourself back in the old neighbourhood.)