Christophe of La Crepe has traded at the market since 2005 selling his delicious crepes and galettes. During this time he has built up an impressive fan base which is a reflection of the very high quality of his food and his level of service.
Christophe grew up in France where the tradition of hunting and gathering for raw ingredients before transforming them into top quality products is learnt at an early age. Christophe then went on to train as a pastry chef and chef then worked in luxury hotels all around the world before settling in New Zealand.
Quality and consistency are the hall marks of the La Crepe product. They make virtually everything from scratch and source local, seasonal products wherever possible and from other market vendors if they are able. Wherever possible they will use organic and free range ingredients. Their galettes are gluten, wheat, egg and dairy free. They like to surprise and challenge kiwi taste buds a little with some of their crepe and galette fillings. Every week Christophe will offer something different and this allows them to keep creative and fresh.
He uses preserves made from produce at the market from 'Maries' stall where she makes delicious jams and sauces all year round.
The filling inside a crepe or galette needs to be especially flavoursome as there is only a little bit of it. This high attention to detail is one of the factors that makes La Crepe such a successful business.
The other aspect that has built their success is the aspect of “performance” that they bring to their market site. Customers enjoy an experience as much as the actual eating of the product. Customers can see the crepe or galette being made and engage in conversation while it is cooking. All the senses are nourished – seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, touching and tasting.
Christophe recognises most of their customers and sees children they served many years ago now coming to the stall with their new babies. This celebration of life creates great energy and a strong sense of community
What I notice about Christophe is his very strong ethical base. His food is created with integrity and love and it shows in the taste. Eating a crepe is no ordinary experience. Customers light up as they munch into anything from La Crepe. However it is very important to Christophe that his food is affordable and available to people from all walks of life.
They built a purpose built registered kitchen in the basement of his Ravensbourne house. Christophe is very talented at creating what he needs and the kitchen has benches higher than normal to allow for the fact that Christophe is quite tall. Christophe trained as an Occupational Therapist and is very aware of the importance of ergonomics. The set up at the market is designed carefully to minimise body strain as there is a high degree of repetition with what they do.
La Crepe believes in minimising the impact they have on the environment. They use bio-degradable packaging but encourage customers to bring their own containers by charging a small amount extra for a takeaway box. They recycle and buy in bulk to minimise rubbish.
La Crepe have an A grade status with the DCC Environmental Health. They employ best practice in training their staff and maintaining consistently excellent products.