By Jessica Tuggle
VERO BEACH -- If a quick trip to Paris for a small cup of espresso and a curved butter croissant for breakfast is out of the budget, don't worry, your cravings will now be satiated here in Vero Beach.
Slice of Paris, a French bakery and pastry shop, opened this month and co-owners Salah Fekih and Jackie Dodgen have been pleasantly surprised with how enthusiastic their customers have responded to the breads and pastries imported from France.
"We knew it was summer and not as many people are here, but we have had a lot of people come and try us," Ms. Dodgen said.
The kosher products such as raspberry tarts, coffee cake and apple and caramel pastries are imported from France by a vendor and prepared at the shop.
"We have already had a lot of international visitors come, people that have been to France, and they have given this a stamp of approval," Mr. Fekih said.
"We're not going to create something and just call it French, it really is from France here," Mr. Fekih said.
The shop has a few seats for people to sit down and chat while they have some coffee or hot tea and nibble on some of the sweet treats at Slice of Paris.
The menu includes baguettes, ciabattas, viennoiseries (baked goods such as croissants), tarts and patisseries, or pastries.
"People get curious and they want to try things. We had one woman come in and try a croissant and the next day she called to order 15," Ms. Dodgen said.
Croissants are easy to fall in love with, Ms. Dodgen said, with a smile of experience.
"The crushed almond croissant is where it all started. We were in Paris last year and it's just something that is out of this world. It's a sweet, but you can eat it for breakfast, dessert or a snack," she said.
Mr. Fekih has previously worked in the food industry in the U.S. and abroad, and is delighted to bring a bit of Europe to Vero Beach.
The puff pastries have the perfect combination of flakiness and substance, and the fillings, whether chocolate or cheese or fruit, aren't so sugary sweet that the pastry loses its original flavor.
"In France, it's not about size of something, it's about the quality," Mr. Fekih said.
Business hours are Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Slice of Paris is located at 879 17th St., Vero Beach. For more information, call (772) 778-1145 or visit www.facebook.com/SliceOfParis.