Thursday, December 29, 2011

Authentic Greek Puff Pastries aka Lou'kou'ma'des at Mr Puffs Pastry in Montreal

Does your shop scream 'Authenticity'?  If yes, chances are you're starting on the right foot and you are on your way to a flourishing business.

Whether we like it or not, genuine, veritable and real are terms that have been integrated deeply into our subconscious minds since our childhood and that we continue to embrace to this day.  "Authentikós" is the Greek word equivalence to original, genuine and principal which all share the sense of actuality and lack of falsehood or misrepresentation.

When was the last time you appreciated someone who was 'fake'?  I doubt that anyone would welcome with open arms a 'fake' friend.  As human beings, we're all naturally drawn to people who are real and remain true to our eyes for the main reason that these persons often turn out to be reliable and trustworthy.  Being in the presence of positively genuine individuals help us grow by creating a need for us to remove the "mask" we've been wearing all our lives to impress or to be liked by others.  Essentially, we slowly learn to accept ourselves.  As such, it is a phenomenal step forward if you're already starting to take little steps towards that personal goal.

What does it all mean in the business world?    If you remain truthful with yourself, odds are that unquestionable trait will undoubtedly reflect in the way you run your shop.  Your business will be one that is sincere, unique and difficult for customers to disregard.

Authenticity is the word that would best describe Mr Puffs Pastry's delicacies and service. Billy and Marina who are the husband-and-wife team running their bakery, have just celebrated Mr Puffs Pastry One Year anniversary last December 21st, 2011.

Their idea is to introduce their Greek delicacies to North Americans. These delicacies are also known in Greek as Lou'kou'ma'des.  They are small mini doughnuts or "beignets" as we say in French, made with all the good stuff.  Their small shop has a welcoming aura that makes foodies and newcomers to keep coming back for more.  Let's face it, a successful start-up place like theirs is all about quality of products and exceptional customer service.   Billy and Marina's team has definitely nailed it.  You'll see these qualities in the short clip below and the review I wrote further down in this post.

We invite you to comment on this video as Mr Puffs Pastry would love to meet you and to hear from you as well.

My visit to Mr Puffs Pastry - Review

Mr Puffs Pastry is situated in a somewhat obscure strip mall located in the northern outskirts of Montreal.  You can count on a good 30 minute drive by car from downtown Montreal, without traffic, to reach their shop.   It's worth the ride.  The best time to avoid crowds and long line-ups is during lunch time.  Their puffs are often purchased after work for pick-up orders to be served as a dessert or a late snack.  They're also a hit at family and corporate dinner parties.   Ordering in advance is the best way to have your fresh batch nicely packaged and ready for your special event.

First impressions:
When fellow foodie Tony first told me about these decadent puffs, I automatically pictured mini Dunkin Donuts or Tim bits. With his insistence that the puffs were nothing like the doughnuts from the big chains, I was finally convinced to go.  Along with other fellow foodie Farah, we drove there one Thursday early afternoon to check the place out.  To our pleasant surprise, we were relieved to see that Mr Puffs Pastry did not have the typical look of a big franchise, but rather appeared secluded, despite its vivid orange banner and signs.  It made me want to check it out more.

The ambiance:
As we walked in, we immediately felt welcomed.  It may perhaps be that the place is very small which  accommodates three small tables indicating that their business is more of a take-out place than a sit-in coffee/snack shop.  I was amazed by how the place was well ventilated.  The air didn't smell greasy.   Their concept is that of an open space where everyone can see everything the staff does for the business.   There is definitely no hiding as their work station is visible to all customers as soon as they set foot in the shop.  We all dig the "what you see is what you get" concept.

The staff:
Billy and Marina are the opposite of being pretentious.  In fact, they're so grounded that they instantaneously make strangers feel like they're part of their community.  What did strike me the most about their philosophy on running the business is the fact that they love sharing any information on how their business started and on how it operates.   Their show-and-tell approach allows them to easily build customer relations. Within one short year, they were able to create strong and durable relationships with their loyal clientele.  As mentioned, it's not a chain but they do intend to expand their business by maintaining the same customer satisfaction.

The service:

I need not to repeat how exceptional their service is.  Oh, I guess I just did.   The Mr Puffs Pastry team wants to make sure it reaches out to as many people as possible in Montreal to show the world how amazing their puffs are.  How do they achieve that ambitious goal?  They go Mobile!  That's right, you heard me. With a fantastic functional trailer equipped with all the necessities to make fresh puffs, they're able to market their product to whichever place the party is held. If you miss a bright orange trailer with a slapped-on logo of an olympian mascot, you may want to get your eyes checked. Believe me, they do go to most major events held in Montreal, like the Grand Prix, to thrive.  Their hard work does pay off and needs to be applauded. 

The puffs:
At first glance, they look exactly like mini Dunkin Donuts or Canada's Tim Bits, which are both heavy in texture and overly sweet.  Once you've popped one puff pastry in your mouth, you are sold and immediately swear to never look back at the chains' fatty doughnuts, ever.   The puffs are:

  • dairy free
  • egg free
  • peanut free
  • preservatives free
  • yeast-risen as opposed to cake-based, therefore lighter in texture and in calories
  • fried in pure canola oil

Because of its lighter texture, the inside is moist and fluffy. Whereas the outside is crispy.  It simply melts in your mouth. You'll never see that with a Tim bit.   As a taste test, we brought two huge batches back to the office without letting anyone know where the puffs came from.  Within 30 minutes the two boxes were nearly empty.   Most of our colleagues, who love Tim Hortons or Dunkin Donuts, could not believe the crispiness of the puffs.  Mr Puffs Pastry had passed the taste test!

The price:

Prices are very reasonable for the quality of the puffs you get.  You may consult Mr Puffs Pastry website here for more details.

Luscious Café Frappé made with coffee, sugar, ice and milk. Out of this world!
If you have never tried Mr Puffs Pastry, we urge you to pay them a visit without further ado.
Or if you are a regular customer, we would love to hear from you about your experience at Mr Puffs Pastry.  Don't be shy to comment!

Bon appétit!


Christinamomof4 said...

Mr.Puffs loukoumades are the tastiest and most delicious I have ever tasted!! They just melt in your mouth!! If you haven't done so already you must go try them!! You don't know what you are missing!!

QlinArt said...

That, they are. :-)

Anne5Montreal said...

We went today after rock-climbing, and I agree, we felt immediately welcomed. We tried three flavours (sugar coated, caramel and maple syrup)and were very, very impressed. So fresh, light and delicious. This was a terrific way to top off our first day of March break. The kids want to go again. Thank you!

QlinArt said...

Hi Anne,
Thanks for your comment! I'm glad you really enjoyed it. They are divine indeed. Now I'm craving for them. Will have to go and get myself some soon. Farewell, timbits!

wendymtl said...

I fist tried these when they were brought to wprk as a dessert for a bbq we were having.Since that day I became "puff obsessed".Every thursday I stop there and I cant stop talking about these things..absolutely delicious!!!!

QlinArt said...

I hear y'a. Been addicted too. Wish there was one closer to work or home.