Les Madeleines bakery closing after 19 years
SALT LAKE CITY — After 19 years in business, Les Madeleines, a popular French bakery and café, is closing down.
The bakery got a lot of attention for its Kouign Amann, a pastry from the Brittany region of France.
It brings in customers from near and far, including Georgia honeymooners Chase and Leandra Shannon.
“We’re on our honeymoon road trip right now from Dublin, Georgia, stopped to get gas in Salt Lake City,” Chase said. “Seen it on Food Network, thought it would be good.”
According to its website, Les Madeleines was the third bakery in the U.S and the first west of the Mississippi to make them.
Owner and pastry chef Romina Rasmussen said hiring problems and the toll it took on her were driving factors in the closure.
“For me, it’s kind of a quality of life thing. I work seven days a week, 12 hours a day on a short day. I might be here 18 hours a day,” Rasmussen explained. “It’s just too hard.”
She also noted the increased cost of goods in her decision to close.
“The products we use are imported, they’re from France or other places in Europe,” Rasmussen said. “A lot of times, things were on a shipping container. Trying to get the best chocolates, best butter, and even a lot of our flour comes from France, too.”
Chef Romina Rasmussen sprinkles peppermint bark on a holiday order at her shop, Les Madeleines. Her baked goods are part of many Utahns’ traditions and morning routines.
It comes to an end soon. She closes her doors next month.
— Shelby Lofton (@newswithShelby) November 15, 2022
She said in the last year, “Hiring has been next to impossible,” and that at one point, the only person in her kitchen was the dishwasher.
“It was really hard to even maintain product out of the case because there’s only so much one person can do,” Rasmussen said.
She said after three years of pivoting, she needs some balance personally and professionally, too.
“It’s just time, I have some of my own things that I need to deal with that I haven’t been able to pivot in a way that allows that to happen,” Rasmussen said.
The bakery will remain open through December 30. She said they’ll close at 3 p.m. or if they sell out of food before then.
Rasmussen said she plans to take some time to “rest and regroup” after the closure. But, she said, she does have plans for the future.
“I guess I have a new dream, and I do have plans that I just can’t quite announce yet,” Rasmussen said. “Working on some other stuff and trying to find that balance for myself.”
She said she’ll be back around in some capacity, though it’s still too early to tell what exactly that will be.
“It’s been an honor to be part of (people’s) lives. I just want to say thank you,” Rasmussen said.
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