Paris is almost 4,000 miles from the City of Williamsburg, but a small taste of the City of Light just arrived along Richmond Road.
Nearly a dozen members of the Williamsburg community came out Friday for the grand opening of La Pâtisserie at 1673 Richmond Road. Owner Rosie Castillo and Vice Mayor Paul Freiling cut the ribbon on the bakery, which specializes in French pastries, cakes and other treats. Economic Development Authority board member Bill Carr also attended the ceremony.
Although the bakery is Castillo’s current focus, her family motivated her move to Williamsburg. Castillo relocated to Williamsburg from San Jose, Cali., where she operated a catering company, to be closer to her daughter, Veronica Van Den Abeelen, who is in her second year at the College of William & Mary School of Law.
Castillo said Williamsburg was different from California, but the region’s intimate setting fit her vision for the bakery.
“We like the boutique,” Castillo said. “We don’t want to get too big.”
According to Castillo, the French theme distinguishes La Pâtisserie from other local bakeries. From its pastries to its design — café tables, soft colors and a wall decorated as a village street scene — Parisian elements color the bakery.
Freiling agreed La Pâtisserie would fill a niche among the city’s cafés and restaurants.
“It will fit in great,” Freiling said. “It doesn’t duplicate anything that exists around here, and adds something different to the Richmond Road corridor.”
Castillo also pointed to La Pâtisserie’s location as an advantage. According to Castillo, many of the bakery’s patrons have visited after dining at Food for Thought, a restaurant located near La Pâtisserie .
Although Friday was the official ribbon cutting, La Pâtisserie has been open for several weeks. The bakery has already gained fans locally. Van Den Abeelen said the bakery already has regular customers, and the community reaction has been positive.
Bob and Carol Pettyjohn attended the ceremony, and have been looking forward to sampling the bakery’s specialty offerings. They said La Pâtisserie differed from the traditional bakeries found in Williamsburg, and would be a welcome arrival.
“We were anxious to have a French pastry shop,” Carol Pettyjohn said. “It’s going to be beautiful, a real addition to the city.”
La Pâtisserie is open six days per week, and is closed Mondays.