NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Whether its fresh baked danishes and croissants, or an authentic French roast, residents of the Elm City have been able to satisfy their pastry cravings thanks to one business.
Majolaine Pastry Shop has been serving up baked goods since the early 1980s. For decades, the business was carefully managed by former owner Rusty Hamilton.
“He was like, ‘All right, you want to work here? Cause you’ve been coming here a lot to ask me for a job. So here, fine, I’ll give you a chance. Whatever,'” explained current owner Arlene Cardenas.
Cardenas learned from Hamilton directly, acquiring more knowledge every day with each 5 a.m. start.
“…Little by little he started teaching me…I didn’t want to do the register anymore and I told him I wanted his job!” exclaimed Cardenas. “…When I was only 15 I was like ‘I’m gonna own this bakery one day.'”
Hamilton understood that Cardenas was serious.
“…He said ‘yeah, so come in the next day at 5 o’clock and I’m going to teach you how to roll,'” explained Cardenas.
Cardenas has owned Majolaine Pastry Shop since she was 29, being careful to maintain the same tastes that has had customers coming back for more each year.
“This is the pastry cream that everyone loves. I remember this cake, the ‘genuas,'” said Cardenas.
But Cardenas isn’t afraid to put her own adjustments on recipes to make them better.
“That cake when I first learned how to make them used to give me a headache and we had a lot of complaints about it…We couldn’t figure out what to do…how to fix it,” explained Cardenas. “…I did a little research and I realized that…putting the butter at the right time… [it’s] mega delicious now.”
Cardenas also loves making specific treats for different holidays throughout the year.
“For Christmas I love making the ginger houses. [The workers] know how to make them, but I love making them,” said Cardenas. “I make like seven a year, like seven on Christmas…it’s just so much fun.”
Majolaine Pastry Shop’s success is not only attributed to great taste, but to the fact that everything there is made fresh and in the store.
“…We don’t have anything premade. Everything that we make is right there,” explained Cardenas.
But just because everything is made fresh that morning doesn’t mean there’s a limited supply of treats.
“…These are the only fruit tarts I got for sale. If they sell out, I’ll make some more!” said Cardenas.
The business’s continued success has allowed it to offer new items while preserving the traditions of old classics.
“…So far, business has been good. We’re doing breakfast now and we’re doing lunch now and lattes and different kinds of cute stuff,” stated Cardenas. “…Everything stays the same and I love my bakery!”
Cardenas also appreciates her workers who help her serve the people of New Haven with a snack and a smile.
“I love my girls. It’s a great job,” said Cardenas.