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La Petite Patisserie: Taste-Tempting Treats

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Originally featured in Lancaster County magazine.

La Petite Patisserie makes its home in a jewel-box of a shop along Lancaster’s Gallery Row, where sweets, savories, tea, coffee and more are always on the menu.

Owner and Head Pastry Chef Donna Lussier is a graduate of the pastry program at the Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts, a division of YTI Career Institute-Lancaster. She launched the business in her home 11 years ago and then moved to Lancaster Central Market before opening a stand-alone bakery on East King Street. The boutique bakery has been at its Gallery Row location since June 2015.

The move to Prince Street has allowed her to expand with sit-down service and baking classes for both adults and teens. The classes, which debuted last year, have focused on French macarons, cookies and, for the holidays, gingerbread houses. “It’s a great opportunity to learn a new skill and to have some fun with friends. We have a class schedule, but we’ll also do a class for a small group,” Donna explains.

La Petite Patisserie is also known for its tea service (reservations are recommended). There’s a high tea and a light tea – each with its own seasonal menu. The tearoom can also be reserved for special occasions such as showers, birthdays, etc.

“Teas are really fun. We love it when people come really dressed up, including hats,” Donna says. “People often think it’s something light,” she says of the tea ritual. “We serve a full three-tiered tea tray filled with scones and cream, savories and sweets. It’s really filling.”

La Petite Patisserie also offers an all-day lunch/brunch menu. Available Tuesday through Saturday, the selection includes biscuits or scones with jam and cream; BLT; chicken pot pie; quiche du jour; tarragon chicken salad; grilled cheese and roasted-tomato soup; lemon-blueberry waffles and more. Box lunches are available via pre-orders. All items, including breads and soup, are made in-house.

As if that’s not enough variety, La Petite Patisserie also hosts monthly dessert tastings. A sampling of personal-sized desserts is offered, and guests may BYOB.

The setting is a delight. The décor features a black-and-white checkered floor, which is complemented by pink and gray walls. A crystal chandelier adds a touch of elegance, and the large front window infuses the space with natural light.

The window also serves as display space for artfully decorated cakes and French macaron towers. The bakery specializes in cakes, cupcakes and other dessert bar items for weddings, birthdays and other special occasions.

The interior seats 12. Tables are set with linens and adorned with silk flowers. A repurposed church pew also offers seating. There’s also sidewalk seating – two tables – during warm weather. “This is a place to come either by yourself or with friends to relax and enjoy a treat and tea or coffee,” Donna says.

The display case is filled with taste-tempting treats. French macarons are La Petite Patisserie’s signature item. There are 30 flavors including some seasonal flavors. Other items that can be found in the bakery case include scones, cookies, decorated cookies, gourmet cupcakes, cake pops and small cakes.

The selection of black, decaf and rooibos teas – from East Indies Tea Company – can be served both warm and iced. Tea lattes are created using loose teas that the bakery bags. Coffee – both regular and decaf – is courtesy of the Gerhart Coffee Company. Gerhart also created a La Petite Patisserie Blend, a classic French roast with a sweet finish that, according to Donna, is a perfect accompaniment for the bakery’s treats. Lattes and mochas are also available, as is hot cocoa.

La Petite Patisserie makes entertaining at home or in the office easier with its sweet or savory party trays. Holiday cookies are also available. “We learned how to make sandtarts last year and will include them in our cookie offerings this year as well. We roll them really thin,” Donna says.

If you will be going to a party this holiday season and want to take a hostess gift along, or if you’re in search of a gift for that difficult-to-buy-for person, La Petite Patisserie may have the answer – gift boxes filled with sweets such as macarons or gift baskets with an assortment of items.

La Petite Patisserie, 136 North Prince Street, Lancaster. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (Hours may expand during the holidays.) Call 717-424-1631 or visit petitedessert.com and on Facebook.