Cappuccinos and croissants: Hanging out with Jackie Ellis – owner of the new Beaucoup Bakery
Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe opened at 2150 Fir Street in December. I recently visited for the first time and broke bread – croissants actually – with owner Jackie Ellis. I will say up front: I’m going to be back soon.
Ellis is a childhood baker who, after a rockin’ career in graphic design (Beaucoup’s gorgeous visual branding makes this rather obvious), decided to attend the École Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil in gay old Paris. When she got back to Vancouver, she put her new skillz and her childhood favourites together. The result is a Julia Child story with a twist. Instead of getting 100% Frenchified, Ellis remembered her roots as well, crafting a cafe menu with a novel mix of viennoiserie along side North American comfort food such as chubby peanut butter cookies.
Both are superb. There are tons of food photos after the jump.
About the food
Ellis’ classic croissants are a delight. The spindle-shaped treats (crescent-shaped is bad; it means the chef used margarine) are flawlessly layered inside and baked to a cinnamon hue outside. Personally, I can’t stomach the flabby underbaked variety. Check out the croissant cross-section showing the honeycomb effect below.
The chocolate croissants (Jackie’s favourites) are enhanced with Valhrona chocolate. If you’re looking for something unusual, the pine nut praline croissant is for you. It’s probably the only double-baked croissant in all of Vancouver and the result is a crunchy-caramelly-nutty-burnt-sugar goodness. It creates crumb carnage on the lovely cafe floors.
Other sweets that deserve a shout out: Apparently Thomas Haas’ favourite is the apple tart, which is way more complicated in appearance and flavour than it sounds, with deeply-flavourful vanilla pastry cream, cinnamon, cardamom apple compote and a gold leaf leaf.
For the lunch crowd, the sandwich menu is now available. Sandwiches are made on the cafe’s in house baked goods: scones, croissants etc. Find the sandwich menu below. For caffeine junkies, the coffee is Kitsilano’s own 49th Parallel. Tea is by Bellocq.
About the Space
It’s so pretty that the 16-seat cafe is often full up even at 3pm on a weekday. Vancouver interior designer Patty Kantymir Harsch used classic French touches (black lacquered bakery cabinet, iron cafe tables topped with marble) mixed with modern, industrial jazz (colour-blocking, floating shelves and reclaimed wood bits).
More About Jackie Ellis
This is the kind of lady entrepreneur that includes a Beaucoup Chalkboard Project in her cafe – a space with rotating questions like “Who inspires you?” She’s also eager to get back to France and eat/learn so she can improve her cafe. She’s on Instagram with a vengeance. Three(ish) words: glamourous, witty, butter-lover.