The emergence of Chantal Guillon is an interesting story. A few years back she made a splash into the local macaron scene by opening Paulette’s in a tiny shop in Hayes Valley, shipping in macarons made by the popular Beverly Hills bakery.
But then Guillon wanted to branch out on her own, so she cut her ties with Paulette and re-imagined Paulette’s Hayes Valley spot into her own shop, aptly named Chantal Guillon. Since then she’s opened a shop in Palo Alto and recently a large cafe in San Francisco’s SOMA district.
I recently visited the SOMA location, and enjoyed a serene afternoon in the spacious spot that featured the signature macarons and a whole lot more. With a larger space and commercial kitchen, Guillon is able to offer more pastry selections along with a savory menu of French sandwiches and salads.
The space is three times the size of the tiny Hayes Valley location, which means a lot more room to lounge (the cushions make you want to stay for awhile) and play on your laptop like a typical cafe. It’s nice to see Chantal Guillon mature to be a full French patisserie and not just a macaron shop, although the macarons continue to be the star. Guillon’s new ventures definitely add to the high-end bakery movement in the city.
The deets: Chantal Guillon, 1309 Howard St., San Francisco. PH: 415.512.1020. Open weekdays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Sundays. www.chantalguillon.com
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