As Aux Merveilleux de Fred continues to go global, Preciosa brings the lights
The Aux Merveilleux de Fred story dates back to 1982 and Hazebrouck, France. Owner and pastry expert Frédéric Vaucamps fell in love with Merveilleux cakes and built a network of luxury patisseries based around this traditional delicacy. The pastry features a melt-in-the-mouth meringue, and every Merveilleux is made in front of the customer in each of the stores.
Preciosa Lighting is a proud partner and produces custom Maria Theresa Picolomini and Roy lights to each newly opened patisserie. All of the lights feature premium trimmings and a gold finish. The first four shops we supplied were in Lille, Lyon and Paris, France, plus Bruges, Belgium. The Aux Merveilleux de Fred phenomenon continues to spread with shops in the US, Great Britain, and Canada. One of the newest is located in Tokyo, Japan. We spoke with the proud new owner to learn more about the design of their shop and the deliciousness of their pastries.
From Switzerland to Japan
The Martinez family is originally from Geneva, and this is where they first fell in love with the Merveilleux.
“We immediately loved the artisanal, old glamorous French atmosphere of the bakery, ” said Cali Martinez, who is the shop’s tea room manager. “We fell in love with Aux Merveilleux de Fred as soon as we tried the pastries. The taste was truly beyond amazing.”
Food is a big part of this family’s life, with mom Gaëlle and dad Alexandre acting as co-directors of the patisserie and sister Mae being the pastry chef. Japan has also been a big part of family life and they are realizing their dream with this sweet adventure.
The store design of their Tokyo shop is quite different from Aux Merveilleux de Fred’s around the world. It’s in a modern building and stretches over three floors. The ground floor features the pastry atelier and display area, visible to visitors inside and outside the shop. On the second floor is the open bakery atelier and the third floor is the tea room with a rooftop terrace. Hanging through the first two floors is a gorgeous Maria Theresa chandelier.
“The Maria Theresa chandelier conveys perfectly the idea of luxe and 18th century old France,” said Ms. Martinez. “It fits perfectly with the glamour, warm and muted decorum of the boutique and tea room. The light brings warmth and shine to the boutique. Additionally since the chandelier is two metres wide and four metres tall, it is very impressive and attractive.”
In addition to the Merveilleux pastry, the Martinez’s shop will offer Flemish sweet milk bread, croissants, pain au chocolat, and waffles. The family believes their boutique will be well-received.
“We are located in the ancient French neighbourhood of Tokyo,” Ms. Martinez said. “Locals and tourists come to Kagurazaka to try French meals and pastries. The Japanese people are very curious and like to taste something new and usually love French cafés.”
There are more than 40 Aux Merveilleux de Fred patisseries in eight countries.
“It’s been very inspiring to see the Aux Merveilleux de Fred’s expansion from Europe, bringing along the Maria Theresa chandelier,” said Pavel Kadleček, Managing Director Preciosa Europe. “We’ve appreciated the opportunity to not only work with the Aux Merveilleux de Fred team, but also with the individual shop owners. It’s hard not to be carried away by their enthusiasm and it’s always exciting to see how they’ll incorporate this historical chandelier into their designs.”