Why Small Businesses Matter
Shop small, do big things for your community
Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!
You're IT Raphaël's Bakery!
Four questions with Charlotte Dequeker, co-founder of Raphaël's Bakery.
Why did you start your business?
As we like to joke, it only took a pandemic... It started back in April of 2020 when the restaurant where Raphael was working closed down because of Covid. He asked management if he could use the kitchen on the weekends and we started a popup bakery there! Word of mouth spread very fast and people were soon asking us to open our bakery. We found investors, the right location and opened in the middle of the pandemic, at the end of December 2020.
What is your best-selling product/service?
We are a typical French bakery. We wanted to recreate the experience you would have when walking in a small village in France and stumbling upon a "boulangerie". So all of our products are staples of the French breakfast and meals: baguettes, croissants, pain au chocolat, eclairs...
Customers love our Choquette, a typical small treat that we all grew up on puff pastry topped with coarse sugar. Super simple, very light, and very addictive!
How many local businesses do you use to support your business (products and services) and can you name them?
Before we started, we were huge fans of Shearwater coffee. They are based in Fairfield County. The roast we are using is their dark golden crema. It is locally roasted and organic and customers love it! For our cold brew, we are working with Joe Studio in Old Greenwich. His enthusiasm and knowledge are very contagious!
Finally, we are selling East Coast Kombucha. They are in Norwalk and their Kombucha flavors vary with all the seasons!
We are starting to look at local producers for fruits as well. Still on the lookout so I will let you know!
Have you "reimagined" your small business?
The business is exactly as we envisioned it. The only thing we didn't account for was the incredible support we got from the community, right from the start. The only thing we might have changed if we had known the success was to get a bigger location. And even that, we probably still have to stick at 146 Mason Street as it is a perfect, cozy spot for what we try to create every day.
HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!