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Franquette Boulangerie tackles the mountain

Franquette Boulangerie tackles the mountain

Places

Nostalgia and local bliss brought Franquette Boulangerie to life on Tamborine Mountain. From the mind of previous Burleigh Baker general manager and artisan baker Jérôme Favier, Franquette brings French artisanal taste and experience to the peak of the Mountain.

Tamborine Mountain is a hidden beauty in the Gold Coast Hinterland that brings in hundreds of tourists each weekend. The small tourist spot is reminiscent of Franquette’s head pastry chef and owner Jérôme’s hometown in France, Tournus, and was the right fit when he was looking for a location.

Jérôme stumbled upon the site that would become Franquette as he wandered along the main street of Tamborine Mountain with a friend during a local tour. The location was opened just over a year ago and has had great success with locals and tourists who reportedly return when they can after experiencing Jérôme’s ‘no fuss’ approach to business and baking.

“Tamborine [Mountain] is a hidden gem. It’s very close to the Gold Coast, its where people just escape but it’s not too far away, but it’s far enough to escape from the city,” Jérôme said.

“Once I saw the shop and the space, I really liked the architecture. The location was on the main touristic street and there wasn’t really any competition for me here.”

The shelves are being stocked at Franquette Bakery.

Stocking the shelves

The decision to open Franquette was made after Jérôme had spent eight years with Burleigh Baker honing his craft under the bakery’s owner Geoff Dance. Having a study background in business and sales, Jérôme already had the knack to build a business and once he perfected his baking and pastry making skills the idea for Franquette well underway.

“I went on a tour of France as a holiday in between my previous job and opening Franquette. Everywhere I went, I looked at bakeries and the way things were made, the architecture and what they’ve done for the fit out,” Jérôme said.

“I wanted a bakery that you could see in any French town. There’s the banner at the front, which says boulangerie on it, which all the bakeries in France would have. I [wanted] it to remain natural so green was the perfect colour to identify with an organic and natural [feel].”

Pictured is baguettes and fougasse. They are on a wooden shelf with white labels underneath.

Franquette’s bread range on display

Setting the scene

The boulangerie is reflective of traditional French bakeries with the same language, striped banners, French café style seating and large shelves to showcase the fresh bread as you walk inside. The large, pitched roofs showcase the original natural timber beams inside and large windows let in streams of light throughout the day.

Once the property was acquired, Jérôme had a few more renovations than expected to get the store up and running. From replacing grease traps to removing walls and panting it was a hefty process to get Franquette to where it needed to be.

“I was over budget for reno which included myself doing as much as possible, knocking down things, clearing, painting,” Jérôme said.

“There’s always a hiccup somewhere… the thing was, we didn’t expect to upgrade the size of the grease trap. The local city council asked us to do it and we had to remove the old one and find a new location for the new one… which put me a little bit late on schedule.

“I was sick of waiting for the council to give me that approval because I knew everything was in order and was done by the book. I just decided to open the doors, and, on the day I opened, I go to the letterbox and my approval was in the letter box.”

Dough being measured out and cut at Franquette

Making the day’s wares

Franquette is part of the expression ‘A La bonne franquette’ which translates to ‘without any fuss’ and the word franquette itself comes from the words frank, honest and simple. This phrase is central to the way Jérôme runs his business from the products down to the way he designed the store.

“There’s a lot of windows everywhere so people can see the staff working which means, for me, there’s no secrets. We’re not hiding anything because everything we do is from scratch,” he said.

“We’re facing east so the sun just lights up the whole premises in the morning too… it’s at the point where I can’t tell the difference if my lights are on in the shop because there’s so much sunlight coming through.”

The art of business

Without any fuss extends across every area of the business and the pastries and baked goods are no exception. Jérôme’s range of products are hand shaped and prepared on site and include a number of traditionally made French pastries such as the traditional baguette, croissants and pain au chocolat.

While the beautifully shaped and created pastries are certainly a centre piece, Franquette’s range of breads is also quite extensive. With Jérôme giving way to trial and error to find the perfect blend and ranges of bread for the store, he has certainly created a full range.

Freshly baked croissants lined on a tray

Fresh croissants

“We’ve got the baguette, which is probably the best seller in the bread category,” Jérôme said.

“It’s very strict protocols to do [the baguette] and you can’t call them traditional baguettes if you don’t do a specific recipe and process. So, this one is made within 24 hours [of sale] at least.

“We’ve got 10 different types of bread. Some of them based on the white loaf which would give you a base for the olive one, the fruit one, multigrain and they all vary in size and weight.”

Jérôme and his team create their range of unique pastries utilising the fresh and natural Australian produce available seasonally. Bringing in new flavours for winter such as Rhubarb and testing new hybrid products he is continually looking at how Franquette can keep building their name on the mountain and surrounds.

“Recently I started what we call the croissant loaf. It looks like an accordion of croissant pastry in a rectangle shape baked in a rectangle mould and then it’s filled with flavoured custard,” Jérôme said.

“[The croissant loaf] went viral on social media and I’m now selling 100 maybe up to 200 a week. We change [flavours too] … we change the flavour of the Danish according to the fruit season. We just finished using the plums and we are now using figs and coming into winter we’ll use rhubarb as well.”

Hitting milestones

As Franquette came into their first year of trading they put on a first birthday event for customers to celebrate their success and bring the community together. There were burgers being made on an open fire, live music and cocktails for everyone in attendance.

“I wanted to celebrate all the hard work with the staff and the very regular people that come to the bakery,” Jérôme said.

“[It was] a huge reward as to how hard the first year was and I was a bit emotional at some point.”

Jérôme’s dedication to his business—which included a stint living out the back of the bakery—is reflected in the authenticity and simplicity of his products. With no fuss, some charisma and quality baked goods Franquette is continuing to stake their claim on Tambourine Mountain as the peak traditional artisanal boulangerie that they are.


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  1. Mike Anthony

    27 June

    Congratulations Jérôme on opening Franquette. Love the philosophy behind your simple & no fuss French boulangerie. Well deserved success to you & your team.
    Michel Anthony – Chef.

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