BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Les Madeleines bakery closing after 19 years

Nov 15, 2022, 1:00 PM | Updated: Nov 16, 2022, 10:20 am
the front of Les Madeleines bakery is pictured...
Les Madeleines bakery is pictured in Salt Lake City. (Shelby Lofton/KSL TV)
(Shelby Lofton/KSL TV)

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 Shannon 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 7 days a week…12 hours a day on a short day…I might be here 18 hours a day,” Rasmussen said. “It’s just too hard.”

Rasmussen 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,” she 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.”

Rasmussen 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.

pastries are pictured in a display case as customers line up at Les Madeleines

The pastry display at Les Madeleines is pictured in Salt Lake City on Nov. 15, 2022. (Shelby Lofton/KSL TV)

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.

Rasmussen said she plans to take some time to, “rest and regroup” after the closure. But, Rasmussen 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,” she said. “Working on some other stuff and trying to find that balance for myself.”

Rasmussen 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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Les Madeleines bakery closing after 19 years