Macaron enthusiasts were broken in October when Chantal Guillon announced that the French pastry shop would close after 12 years. But after months of closure, the famous macaron shop is back and ready for normal business.
“This is our dream come true,” said Lubna Lassaque, who is the new owner alongside husband and French pastry chef Patrick Lassaque. “We were overwhelmed by the response from customers. They said they were devastated when this closed. “
Chantal Guillon returned to service at its San Francisco and Palo Alto stores in January, just as before – including the same classic macaron recipe that Chantal Guillon is known for. Patrick is at the helm of macaron production in San Francisco while Lubna runs the macaron shop in Palo Alto.
The past few months have been a whirlwind for the couple who moved from Las Vegas. Both worked in the hospitality industry there before moving to San Francisco after purchasing two Chantal Guillon locations from previous owner and namesake Chantal Guillon.
The purchase included the 1309 Howard St. location in San Francisco and the Palo Alto location on University Avenue. However, Lubna declined to buy a third business location in the Hayes Valley because the lease had expired and they couldn’t commit to renting three retail locations.
When Guillon announced that she would be closing her pastry shops in October 2020, she kept up to date with the details, but Lubna explained that this had to do with Guillon’s desire to retire. According to Lubna, she and Patrick had expressed an interest in buying the brand three years ago, but at that point Guillon wasn’t interested. They stayed in touch until the pandemic when Guillon reached out to them with an offer to sell the brand.
San Francisco’s Chantal Guillon returns to the Bay Area under new ownership.
Chantal Guillon on Yelp
“[Guillon] came back to us and said, “Hey, are you still interested because I really want someone who knows how to run a business,” said Lubna. “We love the product and wanted to continue.”
As the new owner, Lubna wants to remain true to the integrity of their product, but hopes that she and Patrick can grow it further. Some of this could take shape through rebranding and reach a wider audience as well.
“We want to get a little more recognition on the east coast and just go a little further [that]. These things will take a little effort and time, but this is definitely our next step. “
For now, the Lassaques will concentrate their efforts on their two businesses. They are working on new flavors, including a hazelnut macaron with a 24-karat gold leaf and an upcoming rose champagne macaron.
The acquisition of Chantal Guillon amid the pandemic has worried the new business owners, but Lubna is confident the investment has paid off.
“We knew the risks of the screen, but we wanted to do it anyway because we know things will get better,” said Lubna.
The Chantal Guillon is located at 1309 Howard Street in San Francisco and at 444 University Ave. in Palo Alto.