Our story so far
Where we started and where we are heading.
Michael began his training as an inspired 17-year old, at Bournemouth and Poole College when he undertook his three year basic training in catering. He also trained at the renowned cookery school 'Le Notre' in Plastir, France, where his passion for sugarcraft, boulangerie, chocolate and pattiserre flourished. Michael then started his career in London, where his first job was at Langan's Brassiere. He then moved to the 5 star Sheraton Park Towers, which is where Michael discovered his love of pastry. Over the following 13 years he worked in many hotels and restaurants to further expand his knowledge and expertise. Some of these included: The Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London, where Michael was privileged to experience the work of Monsieur Louis Outhier (Restaurant L'Oasis France) and his team of chefs including Pierre Provost and Jean-Georges Vongerichten (Lipstick cafe,Vong). At this time Michael was invited to Amman in Jordan to help produce the wedding cake and banquet for Prince Faisal bin Al hussein of Jordan son of the King of Jordan. Michael was also instrumental in the opening of 5 star The Excelsior Galia in Milan, Italy.
The Royal Festival Hall, Michael was asked to design a 10 year commemorative Silver Jubilee replica cake for the Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. This was a highlight of Michael's career, to be introduced to them both.
Burts Restaurant, part of the Indigo Jones group (Paul Gaylor). The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh, one of the first 5 star Deluxe hotels in Edinburgh.
The Lanesborough Hotel, Park Lane, London, acclaimed to be the first 6 Star hotel in London. Michael was pivotal in the hotel opening and continued to work alongside Paul Gaylor. The Ivy Restaurant, famous celebrity restaurant, twinned with Le Caprice, worked with Mark Hix.
The Berkeley Hotel, Knightsbridge,London.(Andrew Turner)
Teaching the next generation
In 1994 – Michael was the Head Pastry Lecturer at Le Cordon Bleu, London – where he taught his students 'the patisserie diploma' comprising courses at three levels: basic techniques of patisserie, developing skills to produce classic French desserts and pastries, such as croquembouche, intensive work on specialized skills, including chocolate work, decorative sugarwork, and boulangerie.
Michael was then approached to be part of a team to open a teaching school in Taiwan, The Renaissance School Of Culinary Arts so in 1996 he moved, with his wife and two very young children to Taiwan, where they lived until returning to England in 2000. Michael worked in Mosimanns, London –as Executive Pastry Chef until 2002. Michael was privileged to cater for parties for Prince Charles, in London and at at Highgrove House and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. Also private parties for Tony Blair and his wife, Bill Clinton and other high profile people. Michael also did promotional work for Anton Mossiman in Switzerland and Singapore.
Michael then ventured into the developmental side of the industry and found himself working, for a huge development food company, for 11 years, where his development concepts won numerous food awards.
After many years travelling away from home and working for hotels, restaurants, and food development companies, Michael had a vision to bring his years of knowledge and skills to produce what local people want!! Locally sourced, organic and fresh food. All hand made by professional, caring passionate people, who listen to what you want – to provide a 'mmmn' moment amid the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Our first patisserie & bakery
So it was, that we found ourselves fitting out our very first shop in WESTBOURNE in July 2012. A closed-down estate agents, which by chance had been a former bakery in the 1970's and residents were delighted we were returning the shop to its former glory.
The missing ingredient
We actually live nearby so Michael knew exactly what was missing. An artisan authentic Bakery/ Boulangerie / Pattisierie, where every item was individually hand -made using fresh, local quality ingredients. The finest skills from staff who were really passionate about their craft and product for customers who craved authentic, natural, quality bread, bakery products, coffee and food. Michael wanted to mix old and new, traditional and innovative, quality and consistency with warm, friendly staff in a welcoming relaxing environment.
Options for everyone
We now have a great reputation for quality food, French patisserie and artisan bread. We also aim to offer vegan, gluten free and vegetarian choices.We endeavour to work with the local community, using local suppliers to become a part of your village life.
Expanding through Dorset
Many customers revealed they were travelling from quite some distances to WESTBOURNE and we had constant requests to open another one in various areas throughout Dorset. We had always loved visiting WIMBORNE, a picturesque market town, about 10 miles away. Famous for it's rich history of Wimborne Minster, the Folk Festival, food Festival and numerous other events - this is a small market town with individual shops, a local butcher, fishmonger, greengrocer, with a vibrant community feeling where we knew our shop would blend and enhance.
So in April 2016 we opened our second shop to the delight of many existing customers and lots of new ones.
Weddings and more
Since opening in East Street, other new business's have opened in the street, a fabulous Gin House and a Wine bar, with a new Delicatessen set to open very shortly. We also have an exciting project in the pipeline - fingers crossed, that will be truly wonderful.
We have a base of 'regular' established customers but it is always a delight when visitors and tourists discover either of our shops and love what we do as much as us and our committed hard-working team.
We are building up our reputation for wedding fares and parties. We have produced Croquembouche french-style wedding cakes, made to order cakes and have supplied sourdough and pastries for events. You can order whole celebration cakes, bread and we welcome wholesale enquiries.
The Wimborne project
When we opened the Wimborne shop in 2016 we were very excited at developing the derelict "jungle" out at the back of the shop that backs onto the river "Wim". However it took two years to get to that point. So... in September 2018 Mike's wife Sue started clearing out over 110 bags of brambles, knotweed, slate, bricks and glass and covering the whole area with heavy duty weed membrane throughout the winter. In March 2019 Sue commenced the garden with a vision of dividing the area into a kitchen garden/ vegetable area and seating for the customers next to the river. We opened the garden in June and it has been very welcome as a lovely serene area to have breakfast/ lunch or afternoon tea. We were able to grow and harvest sweetcorn, tomatoes, courgettes and mixed salad leaves. We were even persuaded to enter "Wimborne In Bloom”, despite the garden not being fully finished and received a Highly Commended award.
Just as we were finishing the Wimborne Garden we obtained our third premises, a spacious New Bakery Production unit at The Nuffield Industrial Estate. We fitted this out as a very spacious bakery and patisserie unit to give our bakers and pastry staff much needed space.
Extensions in Wimborne and Westbourne
Once we moved production over from both shops to the unit we were able to extend both the Westbourne and Wimborne shops giving much needed additional seating. This was completed in the summer of 2019.