PB Boulangerie Baker Opens Maison Villatte Bakery in Falmouth
By: Brent Runyon, April 20, 2012
A French baker described by The Washington Post as a “culinary luminary” is bringing his breads and pastries to Main Street in Falmouth.
Boris Villatte, co-owner of PB Boulangerie & Bistro in Wellfleet, is opening a French bakery in the 200 block of Main Street between Sage Fine Gifts & Yarns and Stone L’oven Pizza. The storefront has been vacant since 2010 when Blast From the Past relocated down the street.
When Villatte opened his now-famous bakery in Wellfleet in 2010, he was greeted by long lines of customers and glowing press. That summer The Washington Post described customers eating pastries topped with fresh fruit and pastry cream as being in a “carb-induced euphoria” and breaking into a spontaneous chorus of “La Marseillaise.”
The New York Times Magazine published a story called “The Great Wellfleet Croissant Invasion,” documenting customers waiting for up an hour for the baked goods throughout the day.
“It’s not just the buttery, warm and fluffy croissants that have locals and visitors alike standing in line, but also the wondrous pain au chocolat, the spectacular éclairs and the singular raspberry-almond crème brioche,” wrote Andy Gensler in the Times Magazine.
Bienvenue à la Maison Villatte
The Falmouth bakery will be called Maison Villatte and will specialize in the same breads, croissants, cakes and quiches that drew customers from miles around to Wellfleet. Customers drove to Wellfleet from as many as four hours away to try the food, he said.
“It’s very flattering,” Villatte said.
If everything goes according to , the bakery will open by July 1, he said, but there is still plenty of work to do. Construction has not begun, and Villatte will go for a special permit from the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals next month.
“I’m really excited about coming to the community of Falmouth,” said Villatte, who speaks with a heavy French accent. “I wanted to try a different location. It’s close to Boston, and I’m looking forward to being in a bigger town that is pretty active.”
The bakery will feature a window display and a long display counter near the front door leading into the store filled with breads, croissants, Danish and savory treats. There are plans for seating for about 20 people inside, with room for another 12 people outside and be open from roughly 7 AM to 7 PM.
It's about the process
Villatte, who is 33, was trained as a baker in France from the age of 16, when he began as an apprentice in his hometown of Alsace-Lorraine. His talent was recognized by artisan baker Eric Kayser, and Villatte went on to open bakeries in Russia, Japan, Greece, Ukraine, Morocco and Senegal.
He moved to the United States in 2005 to bake at the newly opened Wynn Casino in Las Vegas. In 2010, he and friend chef Philippe Rispoli decided to move to Wellfleet for a quieter life. Rispoli’s wife is from Wellfleet and had introduced Villatte to Cape Cod on vacations.
Villatte is still an owner in PB Boulangerie & Bistro, but is no longer involved in the day-to-day business. He plans to move to Falmouth to run Maison Villatte, which will feature bakery items only, and will not be run as a bistro-style restaurant like the one in Wellfleet.
A great French bread is the perfect combination of crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside, he said. The bread has a well-balanced sourdough taste that is not too acidic, he said.
“It’s a different flour and also different techniques,” he said. “It’s a lot about the process as well.”