February 14, 2023
HOUSTON, TEXAS – February 14, 2023 – With the celebration of its 50th anniversary, French Gourmet Bakery, located at 2250 Westheimer in River Oaks, has sealed its status as a Houston classic. The iconic destination for traditional French pastry, cakes, fresh breads and holiday treats started in 1973 and continues to be a family-owned and operated business. Generations of Houstonians flock to the bakery every year for traditional, beloved pastries, including pecan and pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving and Bûche de Noël (French Yule Log cake) for Christmas. For Mardi Gras, fans visit for New Orleans- and French-style kings’ cakes, and in the spring, the hot cross buns and Eggstravagant 3D Easter Egg cakes always sell out.
French Gourmet Bakery is also well known for its freshly baked breads, including Tuscan Wheat, Country French Loaf, baguettes, croissants, and dinner rolls. For those with a sweet tooth, there are plenty of delicious options to choose from: eclairs, cupcakes, and a variety of cookies
including their famous chocolate thumbprints & brownies. The bakery also offers French- and American-style cakes with the convenience of quickly grabbing a last-minute celebration cake, and adding a personalized greeting on the spot. Additionally, for those with gluten sensitivities, French Gourmet Bakery offers three gluten-free cookie flavors: Lolo’s Lemon Chewies, Chocolate Chewies, and Coconut Macaroons.
Patrice Ramain, a French-born baker, moved to Houston in his 20s and met his wife Mary at a wine tasting event. Mary, a Houstonian with a love for France, spoke conversational French, which helped them get to know each other. They married two years later in 1973 and opened their first location in the River Oaks area. They have had additional locations, including West University, Post Oak and Memorial, before consolidating to a single location in River Oaks in 2012. Daughter Lauren Ramain Montgomery has joined the family business, and together they uphold the rich heritage of French baking passed down from Chef Patrice’s parents, who both hailed from bakery families in France’s Loire Valley.
The bakery’s interior and storefront have been remodeled by Mary, who studied at The Glassell School of Art, and Lauren.
“We wanted to add modern design elements while retaining the timeless feel of the space,” said Lauren. “Mom incorporated feng shui principles and created the color palette, while I focused on implementing modern furnishings.”
New design elements include marble-topped bistro tables with crisp black-and-white. chevron-patterned wicker chairs and a mid-century modern style lotus flower chandelier. A backdrop of black beadboard showcases the pastry cases as focal points. There are new pops of color, too, in custom-blended shades of teal and orange.
The newly remodeled dining room offers a great atmosphere to enjoy breakfast and lunch. The breakfast menu includes a variety of sweet and savory options, like kolaches, quiche, almond croissants and coffee cake, along with locally roasted coffee. The lunch menu includes a three-course, prix-fixe option with a choice of quiche or made-to-order sandwich, Caesar salad, coffee or tea, and a slice of cake, all for under $15. French Gourmet Bakery offers a complete, made-from-scratch meal at an affordable price.
In addition, French Gourmet Bakery offers catering, including breakfast, boxed lunches, trays, desserts and cakes.
“What sets us apart is our fresh products, beautiful presentation and our outstanding customer service,” says Lauren. “Everything is baked fresh the same day it is served. It’s all about the little details!” Lauren is proud that they are a trusted corporate catering resource for respected organizations such as the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
Chef Patrice has a long history of producing high-quality baked goods, and has attracted a large and diverse following of fans over the years. From late, legendary Houston restaurateur Tony Vallone to former Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak and even James Beard Award semifinalist Chef Kiran Verma, the bakery has earned the respect and appreciation of many prominent figures in the Houston community. The Ramain family’s commitment to quality and tradition has helped establish French Gourmet Bakery as a beloved and iconic destination for traditional French pastries and baked goods in Houston.
French Gourmet Bakery is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The bakery is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
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Tina Zulu, Zulu Creative
888.520.1789 ext. 1