Passion and ambition amplified the room the second I sat down at the new boulangerie-pâtisserie on Hertel. Pastry by Camille is the new go-to if you’re looking for some French culinary delights. From macaroons to croissants, crepes and fresh baguettes, and even a fantastic tea selection from Palais des Thés, you’ll be sure to find something to satisfy your salivating taste buds.
I had the pleasure of talking to Camille La Caer (culinary curator of the space) and La Caer’s wife, Alexandria.
La Caer was born in Brittany, France. The French immigrant has only lived in Buffalo for about two years, and at 24 years of age, La Caer has already opened his own bakery and art space. He has experience in both the French and American pastry world. At 13 years old, his grandmother taught him how to cook and encouraged him to attend Lyceé Hôtelier of Dinard. His first time in America was in 2014, when he moved from France to New York City where he met Alexandria. Thanks to Alexandria and her experience working as a curator for art galleries in the city, the space is adorned with local artwork embellishing the walls. Alexandria also plans to do free yoga classes and invite musicians to play at the space in the near future.
La Caer said Buffalo is lacking when it comes to pastries. He is very passionate about the sweets, and Alexandria agrees.
“We want to start the pastry revolution in Buffalo,” she said.
Both Alexandria and La Caer want to provide locals with the opportunity to enjoy a delicious pastry. They also think that there needs to be a resurgence in the pastry world, and La Caer genuinely welcomes competition.
“I don’t have bad competition, only good. If you want your city to grow, you have to work as team. I want to train everyone – waiters and waitresses, architects, anyone who wants to cook. Anyone can do it, it’s not about your background,” he said.
La Caer said Buffalo needs to go higher than a typical dry biscuit. Pastry by Camille is a tribute it his endeavor to make Buffalo a sweeter, more delicious place to live.
So what makes a delicious and flawless pastry? Better yet, what makes a French pastry? According to La Caer, it takes “elegance and classiness.” He said taste isn’t the only factor – it has to be aesthetically pleasing too. La Caer also chooses to keep the fruit fresh, rather than cooking it down. Towards that end, he works with local farms to procure the fruit and dairy products.
I asked him why he chose North Buffalo as the place to start his journey on Making Buffalo Tasty Again. He said he checked out the Elmwood Village, but it was too “different.”
“It’s the hipster-ization of the city. I am a French hipster, but I have sweet ideas. We need to invest in people, not buildings. I need to invest in the food. My vision is giving back to the city.”
La Caer described Pastry By Camille as a unique experience with homemade baked goods that you won’t find anywhere else. The shop is open Tuesday-Sunday, so you be the judge and stop on over. Grab a macaron or some crème brûlée and pair it with a delicious tea. Prendre plaisir!