Benedicte (Bene for short) Maudet has brought a little of her native Brittany to California.
Brittany is the western most region of France and is surrounded on three sides by ocean. In addition to being famous for its seafood, two iconic Breton specialties are crępes and the buckwheat crępes called galettes.
“Growing up I learned cooking from my mother, who is an exceptional cook. She is my Julia Child,” Bene says. “I went to culinary and catering school, but my mother was my real inspiration and best teacher.”
“All of my family, my parents and my brothers and sisters, we’re all foodies. When we travel, we have to explore restaurants, food stores, markets, to learn about the place we’re visiting through the food.”
After studying in France in the management side of the restaurant business as well as the culinary aspect, she worked in various fields, with the common factor of developing new businesses. She studied and worked in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles and loves the positive energy of Americans.
“I enjoyed all the different places that I worked, but I knew that I wanted to build something creative. Since I’m a foodie, I naturally gravitated towards a culinary business. And that attracted me to the West Coast, especially Californians’ appreciation of nature and of good food.”
Bene loves crępes and she discovered that Americans love crępes too. “There are restaurants that specialize in crępes, and you can even get them at some farmers’ markets. One day walking in San Francisco, thinking about my next venture, I realized that there would be demand here for fresh crępes that people could prepare at home.”
After a visit to Santa Barbara, Bene decided that it was the right place to start her business. “I felt immediately at home in Santa Barbara, and I felt that it was a compatible environment to develop my crępe business.”
“I didn’t know anyone here when I first arrived. Then I met Katie from the magazine Edible Santa Barbara, and she introduced me to Brad Bennett who owns Pacific Pickle Works in Santa Barbara. Both of them were super nice and helpful.”
Interest from major grocery retailers has propelled her business forward. To keep up with demand, she went to France to purchase the machine that French crępe makers use. Her buckwheat flour also comes from France, so that she’s certain that the taste and texture of her galettes will be the same as she remembers from childhood.
“I love bringing an authentic traditional French specialty to Americans and making it easy for them to use and enjoy.”