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Enjoy French pastries in Birmingham

Cannelle Patisserie offers the Birmingham community a special Valentine’s Day menu in addition to its usual delectable offerings.

I called Cannelle Patisserie at 6:33 p.m. on a Friday evening, thinking I would be leaving a message for the owner to call me back on Monday. Instead, I was told by one of the shop’s employees to try calling chef Matt Knio’s cell phone after 7:30 p.m. as that is when he begins work for the day.

He will not be found at the Birmingham retail location, however, is what I was told; rather, he will be at Golden Wheat in Hamtramck (a three-room kitchen that Knio opened to increase production and expand into the wholesale business), preparing creations for not only his Birmingham and Detroit stores but also specialty breads and other Viennoiseries (baguettes, croissants, etc.) for a variety of restaurants and farmers markets in metro Detroit, such as Eastern Market Detroit, Royal Oak, Birmingham and Ann Arbor.

After closing down shop at his original Birmingham location off Hamilton Street in 2008, Knio said he decided to move completely to wholesale. After a couple years though, a former customer-turned-friend, Garen Damiryan, told Knio he should really consider reopening a store in Birmingham again.

“He told me I had a very successful pastry and coffee shop, and that he would help me with the store, so that I could worry about the product,” Knio said about Damiryan, who still helps run the Birmingham location today. “We’ve had success at North Eton Street since day one. You can’t do everything by yourself and having the help gave me peace of mind.”

Starting the last week of January each year, Knio said that customers will notice that everything will turn into hearts throughout the month of February. From pastries to chocolates, there will be a variety of sweets and treats to purchase for loved ones.

“If it’s not a heart-shaped dessert, it will have a heart on it,” Knio said, laughing. “We have a specific Valentine’s Day menu we use.”

Cannelle, which is French for cinnamon, is known for using far less sugar than most sweets one will find in America.

“We do not make anything with more than 15 percent sugar, and the sugar we do use is natural,” Knio said. “We don’t use artificial sugar in anything.”

Knio said his dream has always been to have a few Cannelles and was presented with an opportunity to open one in Detroit a couple years ago.

“In the beginning I was hesitant to go downtown, but after seeing what’s happening to the city, I wanted to be a part of it all,” Knio explained about his decision to open a second retail location at 45 W Grand River Avenue.

In the summer of 2020, Knio said a third Cannelle will actually open its doors in Ann Arbor.

“Every manager goes and trains in Birmingham first,” Knio explained. “It’s the main hub for training. 

A graduate of the Academie de Versailles in France, Knio maintains the quality of fine French baking, which requires a more demanding commitment and lifestyle than most people are willing to take on. He said he prioritizes the taste and quality Cannelle serves customers, but equally important, the service that is provided to them, as well.

“We feel people will always come back if we do not treat them like numbers,” Knio explained. “Even for those just coming in for a cup of coffee, we are always spending time at our meetings asking ourselves, ‘How can we improve?’”

Cannelle Patisserie is located at 159 North Eton and can cater weddings and events. For more information about the Valentine’s Day menu or other offerings, call (248)-822-4072. 

Sidebar:

Cannelle has three locations…

1. Birmingham

The main hub for employee training, Cannelle Patisserie’s home is at 159 N Eton.

2. Detroit

Cannelle Detroit, which opened its doors in 2019, is located at 45 W Grand River Avenue.

3. Ann Arbor

This location is set to open during either June or July of 2020.

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