Milford residents in search of delectable pastries and scrumptious desserts no longer need to travel outside of town or wait for the local farmers market to return next spring.
That’s because Tout de Suite Patisserie, an upscale bakery and French pastry shop, has officially opened at 114 Park Ave. in downtown Milford.
“Everything we offer is made entirely from scratch,” said pastry chef Barbara Hines, who owns the bakery with her husband, David. “We might be the only bakery in the state that uses absolutely no mixes or hydrogenated oils. Even our ice cream is made from scratch.”
Barbara said she first fell in love with French pastries while accompanying her husband on a European business trip. Soon thereafter, she enrolled in the culinary arts program at Atlantic Cape Community College.
Once the couple relocated to Sussex County in 2009, they opened their first bakery, pronounced Toot Sweet (the ‘de’ is silent), at the Shops of Paytner’s Mill in Milton.
However, they soon found that their original location provided little in the way of valuable foot traffic.
Undaunted, they later found their niche by offering their wares at various Sussex County farmers markets, with Milford proving to be one of their strongest customer bases.
“The residents here literally asked us to set up shop here in Milford so they could enjoy our goods year round,” David said. “We talked to Lee Nelson with Downtown Milford Inc. and Scott Angelucci of the Mispillion Art League, and they helped us find our new location.”
For now, the shop’s wares are being prepared daily at the couple’s commercial kitchen in Milton and brought to Milford for sale.
That means the bakery’s stock of Danishes, scones, croissants, tarts and pies are available only on a first come, first serve basis.
The couple’s selection of breads are available only on Fridays and Saturdays, while their wide selection of 6- and 9-inch cakes must be ordered at least 48 hours in advance.
“Because we only offer premium products, it means they are also labor intensive,” Barbara said. “So at the moment, we’re only making what we think will sell that day.”
However, the couple hopes their new venture will prove successful enough for them to relocate their full operation to Milford over the next 18 months.
“Right now, we’re just pick-up and carry out, but we plan to eventually grow into a place where you can sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee with your pastries,” David said. “In time, we’d like to be able to offer soups, pizza, salads, quiche – the whole culinary program.”
Page 2 of 2 - Several customers who stopped in Friday said they were just excited to have a bakery close to the Milford Senior Center and the various downtown shops.
“It’s wonderful to have a bakery in town again,” said Milford resident Pearl Burbage, who stopped in to pick up a blueberry scone for herself and a sticky bun for her son. “I’ve been a fan of Tout de Suite’s since they were in Milton and I followed them to the farmers market and now here. I wish them the very best of luck in Milford.”
Milford Economic Development Director Stephen Masten said he was equally excited to see the new business arrive in the city’s downtown.
“The lifeblood of the American economy is promoting and supporting small businesses,” he said. “The bakery business has a direct impact on jobs provided by the business and an indirect impact when the business buys goods and services locally.”