WHEATON – Residents in need of a birthday cake, fresh loaf of bread or sweet treat will have a new option in downtown Wheaton later this year.
Pample Mousse Bakery, a new French-inspired business, could open as soon as mid-November before Thanksgiving at 118 N. Main St., according to owner Hao Chang.
Chang, a Taiwanese immigrant and local masseuse, said that after years of working as a massage therapist, it was time to follow a different calling.
"Even doing [massage fulltime], I baked a lot of stuff," she said. "I give it to my clients and they all love it. My clients and friends all encouraged me to open a bakery, but I was in a career. Finally, I think I have the chance."
Chang said she has worked to refine her craft during the last several years, taking trips to Paris and participating in a month-long training session in Taiwan to work on her baking. She said she tries to balance precision – measuring ingredients down to the milligram – with taste and art. Those standards are part of what attracted her to French baking, she said.
"It amazes me how much French people care about their bakery stuff," she said. "Not just how it looks, but how it tastes, too."
Pample Mousse will start with a small selection and expand as Chang gains experience and a local presence, she said, starting with macaroons, croissants, eclairs and cupcakes and growing to offer baguettes, scones and truffles. The bakery will also include a few tables out front for people to enjoy their baked goods and a small drink menu, including coffee, tea and cider.
Paula Barrington, of the Downtown Wheaton Association, said that having a "high quality bakery" will increase downtown Wheaton's status as a local destination.
"At most bakeries, people have favorite items that you must have every week, and having one in downtown will help generate more foot traffic," she said. "It enhances our food offerings in the area."
Chang said that her bakery will be a "melting pot" of baked goods, but that she will strive to embody the French pursuit of pastry perfection.
"It inspires me to do as good as I can and put the best ingredients in there," she said.