Les Madeleines, a beloved French bakery in Salt Lake City, is closing at the end of the year

Les Madeleines, with its signature kouign-amann patisserie, faced a staff shortage this year.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Romina Rasmussen, owner of Madeleines, the 19-year-old French pastry cafe in downtown Salt Lake City, speaks with a customer Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. Rasmussen recently announced that ‘She would be closing her popular boutique at the end of the year.

An acclaimed Salt Lake City bakery is closing at the end of the year, concluding a two-decade saga for its baker and owner – one that promises a new chapter to come.

Romina Rasmussen, owner/baker of Madeleines, at 216 E. 500 South in Salt Lake City, announced on Facebook Monday that she will be closing the bakery on December 30 — with a celebration on December 15 to mark the company’s 19th anniversary. before it goes.

Rasmussen told The Tribune that she couldn’t find enough staff to run the bakery and that this year – the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic – has been the most difficult.

“I worked seven days a week, 12 to 15 hours a day. I can’t do it anymore,” she said, clarifying that the decision was not due to a financial situation. “It’s just the kind of thing where life isn’t really life right now. I work and sleep. I’ve always given my all to this place. I love my shop and I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished here. But it’s time to focus a little more on being a person.

Two decades ago, Rasmussen said goodbye to her corporate job, trained at the French Culinary Institute in New York and returned to Salt Lake City to open Les Madeleines.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Sweet treats are displayed at the popular 19-year-old French patisserie cafe Les Madeleines on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, after it was announced they would close at the end of the year.

Rasmussen opened his first location, at 660 S. State St., in December 2003. A year later, Tribune food writer Nancy Hobbs sang his praisesstating that the croissants were the best she’s had, and that Rasmussen made everything – even the graham crackers for her graham cracker crusts – from scratch, “using only the best ingredients, like Plugra butter and Valrhona chocolate.And the dishes cooked each day vary according to what is fresh on the market or what seems intriguing.

Les Madeleines was one of the first bakeries in the Salt Lake area to sell gourmet cupcakes and macaroons. And Rasmussen was the first pastry chef west of the Mississippi to make and sell kouign-amann, a multi-layered laminated cake that originated in the Brittany region of France.

Over the years, Rasmussen and his bakery have racked up all sorts of accolades, appearing on the food networkand in the writings of O Magazine, Food & Winebetter homes and gardens and Sunset.

Since the announcement of the bakery’s closure, Rasmussen said she’s received an outpouring of love from customers, who tell her they wish they had more.

“I’m really overwhelmed with people’s responses,” she said. “So many really sweet and nice things they’ve been saying all day, and it’s really nice. I didn’t necessarily expect that. I didn’t expect people to say, ‘Yay, you left’. [laughs] But I did not expect this outpouring. It’s really nice to have people sharing with me what I’ve done means to them.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Patti Fava doesn’t bake your standard English muffins as she works in the Madeleines kitchen on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, after it was announced that the 19-year-old French patisserie cafe would be closed at the end of the year.

Rasmussen said when she first opened there were few to no other artisan French bakeries in town. “Nineteen years is a really long time,” she said. “The world has changed. Food has changed so much in those 19 years. When I opened, you had to call Information. We had to call 411 to get our address and phone number.

As for the December 15 anniversary celebration, Rasmussen said his plans are still in the works.

“I don’t know what it will be,” she said. “It’s a Thursday, so not the sexiest day of the week. [laughs] When it’s not a sexy day of the week, sometimes we just give a gift. Last year, we made birthday bonbons. We made cupcakes. So there is always some kind of celebration. When it’s the weekend, we often party. … I haven’t decided what we’re going to do with it, but we’re going to make it something more festive.

Once the plan is in place, she says, she will release information on the coffee instagram Account.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Customers visit the popular 19-year-old French patisserie cafe Les Madeleines at 216 E. 500 South in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, following news of their closing at the end of the year.

Until the closing date, she said, Les Madeleines will maintain their usual hours – 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday. Recently, she had to close at 10 a.m. for a meeting she couldn’t miss, but unless there’s an emergency like that, she’ll stick to her schedule.

Online ordering is also open until then, so customers can place orders, including for holiday baked goods such as Buche de Noel. The bakery will also ship out of state through the end of the year.

In 2023, Utahns may have to visit Rasmussen’s YouTube cooking channel to get their fix of Les Madeleines – for now.

“I have a few other projects in the works,” Rasmussen said, adding that people should keep an eye out on social media and the website, where she will announce her plans in the coming week.

“I’m just not ready to talk about [my plans] Again. But one is sweet, the other is salty,” she said. “So there’s more to come.”

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Les Madeleines, the popular 19-year-old French pastry cafe located at 216 E. 500 South in Salt Lake City, recently announced its closure at the end of the year.

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