Tuesday, August 12, 2014

An Ode to a Bakery (The Closing of Denoel French Pastry Shop in St. Augustine, FL)

This past week, America lost one of the finest in the baking world. Denoel and I go way back, I can still remember the first time I stumbled upon this somewhat hidden gem in the historic downtown St. Augustine area. I still remember the fist time my eyes fell upon the beautifully hand crafted French inspired pastries, many of which contain my favorite ingredient marzipan which is a rare treat to find in the U.S. After I tried the marzipan fruit tart which consisted of light white sponge cake layered with creme chantilly, topped with fresh fruit, and wrapped with a thin layer of almond paste I was absolutely hooked. We returned countless times for pleasure and for every one of my birthdays since I turned 18. We became close with the assistant, Guy who always made sure to reserve a coveted fruit tart for us upon arrival. When Lewis and I became engaged we couldn't think of a better place to take our pictures than this magical pastry shop that has continued to bring us (and our palettes) so much joy. It sounds a little dramatic, but it feels like the passing of an old friend and to this I say; fly your flags at half mast, bring forth the lonesome trumpeter to lament its passing, weep at the mediocrity of the inferior baked goods that will soil our pallets evermore, you will be missed.

Denoel 1966-2014

*engagement pictures where taken by Soleil Boucher Photography


  1. Amen! They shall be missed! Loved getting a cup of tea there on cooler days and enjoying a special treat - nice and cozy. Almond Croissant - the best ever.

  2. I, too, am heartbroken they have closed. The best bakery in the country. I still can't travel through St Augustine without wanting to stop by for a few of their divine sweets. Marzipan is my fav, too.

  3. Uhg, I'm glad someone else can relate to my struggle! It has been missed for sure :(

  4. Also, I just noticed your picture is a dachshund! I have a little weenie myself, they're the best :)

  5. Had. That was my sweet little girl, Amber. She passed away three years ago.

  6. Oh I am so sorry to hear that :( Losing a pet is like loosing a member of your family, you never quite get over it.

  7. I stumbled through your door...

    Unaware that 30 years on I'd still crave that memory.

    The glass display. A grown child's delight.

    A hundred small window panes gently filtering the afternoon light.

    More elegant than I'd originally thought, standing outside.

    Here I discovered mastery, and the most delectable kind.

    Sweet, fancy - shimmering and dancing brightly underneath the display light. Inviting me to try perfection.

    Flaky, buttery, soft and warm; filled and oozing - whispering through my memories.

    I've never forgotten. How could I?
    I so wanted to return. Instead I'll blow my trumpet and mourn far too late.

  8. What a lovely article just found now… My family business. I grew up working in the shop, ❤️❤️

  9. I miss this place! We couldn't visit St. Augustine without a visit to Denoel's! Lovely owners. I just read that the family suffered a loss when Christine passed away in 2020. I'm SO sorry to hear this.


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