Les Madeleines bakery closes after 19 years

SALT LAKE CITY – After 19 years in business, Les Madeleines, a popular French bakery and cafe, is closing.

The bakery drew a lot of attention for its Kouign Amann, a pastry from the Brittany region of France.

It draws clients from all over, including the newlyweds of Georgia Chase and Leandra Shannon.

“We’re on our honeymoon trip right now from Dublin, Georgia, we stopped for gas in Salt Lake City,” Chase said. “I saw it on the Food Network, I thought it would be good.”

According to their website, Les Madeleines was the third bakery in the US and the first west of the Mississippi to make them.

Owner and pastry chef Romina Rasmussen said hiring issues and the cost it cost her were the factors that prompted the closure.

“For me, it’s kind of a quality of life issue. I work seven days a week, 12 hours a day on a short day. I could be here 18 hours a day,” Rasmussen explained. “It’s too difficult”.

He also noted the increase in the cost of goods in his decision to close.

“The products we use are imported, they are from France or other places in Europe,” Rasmussen said. “Many times, things were in a shipping container. Trying to get the best chocolates, the best butter, and even a lot of our flour comes from France as well.”

She said 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 difficult to even keep the product out of the box because there isn’t much one person can do,” Rasmussen said.

She said that after three years of pivoting, she also needs some personal and professional balance.

“It’s just timing, I’ve got some of my own stuff to deal with and I haven’t been able to turn in a way that allows that to happen,” Rasmussen said.

The bakery will remain open until December 30. She said they will close at 3pm or if they run out of food before then.

Rasmussen said he plans to take time to “rest and regroup” after the lockdown. But, he said, he has plans for the future.

“I guess I have a new dream and I have plans that I can’t announce yet,” Rasmussen said. “Working on other things and trying to find that balance for myself.”

She said she’ll be back somehow, though it’s still too early to tell what exactly it will be.

“It has been an honor to be part of (people’s) lives. I just want to say thank you,” Rasmussen said.

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