Arts

High tea, ice cream and coffee cart are some of the future offerings at Mademoiselle Colette's new Atherton cafe

Deborah Ferrand, owner of Mademoiselle Colette, places pastries inside a box at the cafe in Redwood City on May 10, 2022. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

"Baby Colette" is the endearing way Mademoiselle Colette's owner Debora Ferrand describes her forthcoming cafe in Atherton.

The French patisserie, which has locations in Redwood City, Palo Alto and Menlo Park, along with a ghost kitchen in Mountain View, won the bid to operate a 250-square-foot cafe in Atherton's new $19.1 million, 10,000-square-foot library this fall. The town plans to sign a five-year lease with the bakery.

"We don't have anywhere where residents can meet in the neighborhood," said Ferrand, an Atherton resident, in an interview at her Menlo Park location last week. She said the ambiance of the space is "really nice." "The cafe will bring energy and a lot of people to town."

As an almost entirely residential community, with the exception of schools and the Menlo Circus Club, Atherton residents generally head to Menlo Park, Redwood City or Palo Alto to eat out.

"The quality of her pastries. which she bakes daily, coffee and beverage selections, and assortment of small plates seemed to be just what we were looking for," said Atherton Councilwoman Elizabeth Lewis in an email. "I believe that she will be very successful at our location because of her immediately recognizable name and reputation. I'm looking forward to enjoying a latte and brioche on the deck of the library under the oaks."

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Ferrand said an email from town staff alerted her to the opening for the cafe site in the town's new $32 million civic center project.

Born in Brazil but raised in France, Ferrand attended Le Cordon Bleu and studied at the School of Alain Ducasse in France. She opened Mademoiselle Colette on Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park in 2015.

Menu modifications and additions

With no kitchen at the Atherton location, she will serve similar items but adapt them. For example, her avocado toast (which will be made on homemade sourdough bread with pomegranates, sesame seeds, onions, pickles and lime sauce) would come without a poached egg.

She plans to prepare food in the Menlo Park kitchen and reheat it in a countertop oven in Atherton. Proposed offerings include raspberry financiers, eclairs, a variety of salads and sandwiches (including croque monsieurs), along with warm beverages, according to her proposal to the town.

An approximately 2,000-square-foot deck and terrace fronts the cafe space. The town will provide outdoor tables and chairs, according to Ferrand.

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Ferrand's plans for the new cafe are almost complete, but she needs to find a contractor to do the work. She expects the new space to have the same Parisian aesthetic as her other cafes, but part of the $151,000 in renovations will include plastering, floral wallpaper, marble and mirrors. She plans to make the space a little more modern than other locations to match the library's design.

Ferrand would like to start a high tea service at the Atherton location, something she said she's been wanting to do for years.

In the service, she'd like to include the Mariage Frères teas from France she has on her other cafe menus, along with mini pastries and savories.

She hopes to bring a small ice cream and coffee cart to the Atherton and Redwood City cafes. She's planned on having a cart at the Redwood City location since October 2020, but it hasn't happened just yet.

In April, the Atherton City Council gave Ferrand the go ahead to pursue serving wine at the new cafe. She is working with the state Department of Alcohol Beverage Control to see if the new cafe will be allowed to have alcohol. She is not sure it will be possible because there are certain limits on serving alcohol in the vicinity of a school and isn't sure if this restriction applies to libraries.

She'd pair wine with cheese plates, quiche and charcuterie boards, if it is permitted, she said.

Mademoiselle Colette plans to initially be open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., but hours will shift later if wine can be served, Ferrand said.

Ferrand plans to employ about two to four people baristas, a shift supervisor and sales assistants to work at the new cafe. She plans to outfit the cafe with refrigerators, a dishwasher, a sink, cabinetry and more, the proposal states.

Other applicant

SiliconValley.coffee, an artisan coffee roastery based out of San Carlos, also submitted a proposal to Atherton to run the cafe space but did not get selected.

The SiliconValley.coffee Lab is opening this spring as a tasting room for coffee at 651 Oak Grove Ave. in Menlo Park, next to the U.S. Post Office branch, according to the company's proposal. Its cofounders are Atherton residents Vance Bjorn and Matt Baker (who is chair of Atherton's Parks and Recreation Committee).

Coffee at the Atherton location would have been served by both people and a robot, the Artly Robotic Barista. The company offered, in lieu of cash rent, to offer town and library staff a significant discount, 50% off grab and go beverage purchases, at the cafe, according to the proposal.

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Angela Swartz joined The Almanac in 2018 and covers education and small towns. She has a background covering education, city politics and business. Read more >>

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High tea, ice cream and coffee cart are some of the future offerings at Mademoiselle Colette's new Atherton cafe

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Tue, May 24, 2022, 3:25 pm

"Baby Colette" is the endearing way Mademoiselle Colette's owner Debora Ferrand describes her forthcoming cafe in Atherton.

The French patisserie, which has locations in Redwood City, Palo Alto and Menlo Park, along with a ghost kitchen in Mountain View, won the bid to operate a 250-square-foot cafe in Atherton's new $19.1 million, 10,000-square-foot library this fall. The town plans to sign a five-year lease with the bakery.

"We don't have anywhere where residents can meet in the neighborhood," said Ferrand, an Atherton resident, in an interview at her Menlo Park location last week. She said the ambiance of the space is "really nice." "The cafe will bring energy and a lot of people to town."

As an almost entirely residential community, with the exception of schools and the Menlo Circus Club, Atherton residents generally head to Menlo Park, Redwood City or Palo Alto to eat out.

"The quality of her pastries. which she bakes daily, coffee and beverage selections, and assortment of small plates seemed to be just what we were looking for," said Atherton Councilwoman Elizabeth Lewis in an email. "I believe that she will be very successful at our location because of her immediately recognizable name and reputation. I'm looking forward to enjoying a latte and brioche on the deck of the library under the oaks."

Ferrand said an email from town staff alerted her to the opening for the cafe site in the town's new $32 million civic center project.

Born in Brazil but raised in France, Ferrand attended Le Cordon Bleu and studied at the School of Alain Ducasse in France. She opened Mademoiselle Colette on Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park in 2015.

With no kitchen at the Atherton location, she will serve similar items but adapt them. For example, her avocado toast (which will be made on homemade sourdough bread with pomegranates, sesame seeds, onions, pickles and lime sauce) would come without a poached egg.

She plans to prepare food in the Menlo Park kitchen and reheat it in a countertop oven in Atherton. Proposed offerings include raspberry financiers, eclairs, a variety of salads and sandwiches (including croque monsieurs), along with warm beverages, according to her proposal to the town.

An approximately 2,000-square-foot deck and terrace fronts the cafe space. The town will provide outdoor tables and chairs, according to Ferrand.

Ferrand's plans for the new cafe are almost complete, but she needs to find a contractor to do the work. She expects the new space to have the same Parisian aesthetic as her other cafes, but part of the $151,000 in renovations will include plastering, floral wallpaper, marble and mirrors. She plans to make the space a little more modern than other locations to match the library's design.

Ferrand would like to start a high tea service at the Atherton location, something she said she's been wanting to do for years.

In the service, she'd like to include the Mariage Frères teas from France she has on her other cafe menus, along with mini pastries and savories.

She hopes to bring a small ice cream and coffee cart to the Atherton and Redwood City cafes. She's planned on having a cart at the Redwood City location since October 2020, but it hasn't happened just yet.

In April, the Atherton City Council gave Ferrand the go ahead to pursue serving wine at the new cafe. She is working with the state Department of Alcohol Beverage Control to see if the new cafe will be allowed to have alcohol. She is not sure it will be possible because there are certain limits on serving alcohol in the vicinity of a school and isn't sure if this restriction applies to libraries.

She'd pair wine with cheese plates, quiche and charcuterie boards, if it is permitted, she said.

Mademoiselle Colette plans to initially be open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., but hours will shift later if wine can be served, Ferrand said.

Ferrand plans to employ about two to four people baristas, a shift supervisor and sales assistants to work at the new cafe. She plans to outfit the cafe with refrigerators, a dishwasher, a sink, cabinetry and more, the proposal states.

SiliconValley.coffee, an artisan coffee roastery based out of San Carlos, also submitted a proposal to Atherton to run the cafe space but did not get selected.

The SiliconValley.coffee Lab is opening this spring as a tasting room for coffee at 651 Oak Grove Ave. in Menlo Park, next to the U.S. Post Office branch, according to the company's proposal. Its cofounders are Atherton residents Vance Bjorn and Matt Baker (who is chair of Atherton's Parks and Recreation Committee).

Coffee at the Atherton location would have been served by both people and a robot, the Artly Robotic Barista. The company offered, in lieu of cash rent, to offer town and library staff a significant discount, 50% off grab and go beverage purchases, at the cafe, according to the proposal.

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