France is world famous for its cuisine, which incorporates aesthetic patisseries, family-owned bistros and Michelin-starred fine-dining establishments.
Bruno Deluche, the owner of Petit Paris in Camana Bay, grew up among the bakeries of Limoges, a small city in southwest-central France, that would one day inspire him to start his own café almost 5,000 miles across the Atlantic. After earning his catering certifications, Deluche decided to explore the world beyond his tiny corner of Europe. Wherever he found himself on his extended travels, he worked in the food industry as a chef, a waiter or restaurant manager. His journeys brought him to Grand Cayman in 1996, where he’d planned a week-long visit with a friend. He loved the island enough to want to stay longer. For the next three years, Deluche took the "snowbird" approach, working in local food and beverage establishments for the high season and travelling for the remainder of the year.
In 1999, he opened Coffee and Bite, a small café in the heart of George Town and later, Café Med in the Galleria Plaza.
At the encouragement of Cayman friends who longed for the quaint patisseries of France, Deluche and wife Silviya Toncheva decided to open their own French bakery. In 2017, Petit Paris opened on Camana Bay’s Market Street, offering all manner of authentic café fare — from baguette sandwiches to croissants and pastries.
“I liked Camana Bay’s style,” Deluche says. “Our kids loved to play here, and it was safe and secure. It also came with nearby corporate offices so we knew we’d have the traffic.”
Regular customers noticed the authenticity of the food, starting with its croissants.
“The secret is butter," Deluche says. "Many croissants made outside of France use margarine because it’s half the price of butter. In France, you will always find croissants made with butter — it’s more expensive, but the authentic flavour is there.”
While authenticity is something they always strive for at Petit Paris, Deluche says experimenting with new flavours and approaches is an exciting challenge.
“When you have a small business, the challenge is to always try something new, to adapt to the way the world is evolving," he says. "The vegan and gluten-free markets have grown a lot recently, so we always try to get new products that can cater to different people. Recently, we’ve also started selling ice cream and fresh cold-pressed juices.”
When more frequent travel becomes feasible again, Deluche hopes to discover flavours and products from abroad that he can bring back and adapt for Petit Paris.
“I also want my two sons to see the world when they can, so I’m looking forward to travelling with my family again and expanding into more global flavours.”
This article was first featured in the October 2021 print edition of Camana Bay Times.