Apparently it's November that's the cruelest month. Frice Pastry will bake its last canelé—at least for a while—on Saturday, Nov. 14.
Frice—the little French-influenced pastry shop run by former St. Jack pastry chef Alissa Frice—has been sharing space on North Williams Avenue with Philippe's Bread for the past 18 months, alongside Lardo.
Frice tells WW she was given just two weeks to depart by ChefStable, which oversees all three operations.
According to ChefStable boss Kurt Huffman, Frice has sustained monthly losses since opening, and Huffman says the bleeding had to stop. In addition, relations between Frice and Philippe's have been strained, according to Huffman, which might have been anticipated with two related operations occupying the same space and "stepping on each other."
We praised Frice when it opened in spring 2014—particularly the chiboust, a little cake that "layered springy green tea custard and a band of lemony yuzu gelee, with chocolate threads zigzagging across the top. It was light and faintly sweet and a little grassy, like the first whiff of summer."
In hindsight, Huffman says the bakery space should have been about 1,000 square feet larger to accommodate both businesses comfortably, especially now that Philippe's wholesale operation has taken off.
All parties are trying to put an optimistic face on the situation. Frice says she isn't closing but is seeking a new, better base of operations, with Huffman adding that ChefStable plans to help Frice find a workable standalone location.