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Chez Jean-Marc Bakery owner to open new business

Once open, Dan’s Place as it will be called, will have seating for up to 40 people.  

Chez Jean-Marc Bakery in Sturgeon Falls is one-stop shopping for anyone with a sweet tooth.

The popular bakery was purchased 13 years ago by Daniel Lelievre, who years earlier, learned baking techniques from the master.

“I worked for Jean-Marc in high school and after that for a bit. I follow all of Jean-Marc’s original recipes and I have my own that I have introduced. Everything we develop has been good. I’m just happy that people enjoy my food. I’ve been doing it for 31 years. People love sugar, what can I say?” laughed Lelievre, who went on to explain the changes he has made to the bakery since purchasing the business.

“Basically the first few years I did a little bit of an expansion and by the third year, I did a pretty substantial expansion. Last year I bought the building the bakery is in, and my next step is opening a restaurant, for just breakfast and lunch.”

The restaurant located on the bakery site, is 90 per cent complete. Once open, Dan’s Place as it will be called, will have seating for up to 40 people.

In the meantime, the bakery will continue to offer everything from fudge to donuts and pies, buns and bread to cookies and its famous butter tarts.

“We do a lot of butter tarts,” Lelievre chuckled. The amount sold depends on the time of year. “The middle of the summer we’re doing anywhere between 30 and 60 dozen a day. It is all handmade. We do the dough ourselves. We make plain, raisin, pecan, apple, cherry, coconut, and raspberry tarts. The most popular flavour is plain.”

During the Christmas holidays, seasonal cookies trump butter tarts every time, but the melt-in-your-mouth taste of freshly baked classic cookies is available year-round.

“We do a lot of cookies on a regular basis. Probably chocolate chip, peanut butter, peanut butter chocolate chips are the bigger sellers, and macadamia nut but oatmeal is a pretty big one too,” noted Lelievre.

Pie lovers are in luck, as there is no shortage of pies ready to be served as a dessert or main course.

“We do thousands, tens of thousands,” laughed Lelievre. The bakery offers a selection of fruit pies, cream pies, and meat pies. The French Canadian sugar pie is especially popular during the holidays.

“We do a lot of meat pies too, like turkey pies and of course the traditional Tourtiere at Christmas time.”

The menu options expanded with the launch of donuts.

“I introduced them about 10 years ago. I’m very happy it took off so well,” grinned the baker.

Racks upon racks of freshly made buns and loaves of bread including cheese bread, raisin bread, white, brown, whole wheat, harvest grain, and rye greet customers as soon as they step foot in the bakery. The owner is working with other bakers to provide gluten-free options.

“Unfortunately, last year I had to close my gluten-free. I had a separate bakery for it but I had to close it so now I’m bringing it in. There is a lady in Astorville who is making it for me,” Lelievre explained.

The bakery also offers a few diabetic options. Not in the mood to cook dinner? Chez Jean-Marc has you covered.

“We have lasagnas, they’re all done from scratch including the noodles. And we do cabbage rolls and other meat pies which are pork and beef, but I also do a pork-only pie and baked beans.”

Chez Jean-Marc’s reputation draws customers from near and far.

“I have regular customers from Ottawa who are originally from here and they stop in when they are visiting the area to stock up. And we have people who come from Sudbury and North Bay and of course Sturgeon Falls and area.”

Winter hours are currently in effect; open Tuesday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday. Staff are taking a well-deserved break, with the bakery reopening on January 9th.