Co-owner: Michael Clervoix
Based in: Queens Village
Link to website: https://lebonpainbakery.com/about/
For Michael Clervoix, joining his family’s baking business was almost inevitable.
Growing up in Haiti, Clervoix’s mother had always dreamed of becoming a baker and sharing her family’s recipes with the world. Shortly after migrating to the U.S. from Haiti, she was able to open up Le Bon Pain Bakery, a Haitian-inspired eatery in Queens Village.
Clervoix’s mother leaned on her former work experience with Drake’s Cake Company and collaborated with her husband to found the local shop in 1988.
Now, 32 years later, Le Bon Pain has become a community staple with authentic Haitian taste in every dish they make.
“One of our best-sellers is our Haitian patties and our fresh bread,” said Michael Clervoix, co-owner of the shop. “People come from 5 a.m. looking for fresh, hot bread.”
With business thriving, Clervoix says he was thrown into a state of confusion when the unexpected ordinance went out calling for all non-essential businesses to shut their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We were trying to figure out if we were deemed an essential or non-essential business,” Clervoix said.
Then, after confirming with 311 that his bakery could stay open, Clervoix and his family did a deep clean of the bakery and made necessary adjustments to ensure the safety of their staff and customers.
“We just had to adjust to this pandemic to make sure that we’re being safe and looking out for everyone and not just ourselves,” Clervoix said.
Adjustments to the bakery meant changing open hours, cutting hours for employees, and creating barriers between staff and customers.
Still, as one of the only bakeries for blocks in this part of Queens that is currently open for locals, Clervoix is positive that business for Le Bon Pain will continue to thrive once things start to normalize once more.
“We plan on bouncing back after the pandemic by going back to regular business hours and giving top notch service and support to our community,” Clervoix said.
Grateful for the consistent support that Le Bon Pain Bakery continues to receive, Clervoix leaves this message of hope for his Queens Village residents:
“We all have to be considerate to each other and protect each other — we all have to continue to remain positive during these times.”