Walking into the Colville Street Patisserie is a dizzying experience. The display case boasts of a rainbow of fresh gelatos, ranging from mint to a tart, refreshing rhubarb. Their list of handmade sodas, luxurious hot chocolates, and perfect espressos adorn the drink menu. The pastry shelf has vanilla bean eclairs, buttery croissants, and chocolate mousse cakes.
Pastry chef Matthew Zack opened the Patisserie in 2005. Owners Tiffany Cain and David Christensen purchased the French bakery in 2008. Before that, Cain had owned the Weinhard Cafe in Dayton for ten years. Christensen had been the sous chef and pastry chef at the Whitehouse-Crawford. When Zack first trained Christensen, the two owners had no idea what would come next. “We never imagined we would buy it, but we were really passionate about French pastry,” Cain recalls. “We have added to it, made our own gelatos and homemade sodas. We’ve been having fun and learning as we go.”
Since they took the helm, Cain and Christensen have added even more diversity and uniqueness to their dessert menu. “We experimented around and added new flavors… the latest was the banana caramel.” Cain estimates that the Patisserie will offer a brand new recipe at least every other week. Right now, the tarragon chocolate cake is the newcomer in the display case.
The Walla Walla agricultural opportunities have ensured that the Patisserie desserts are as fresh as possible. Cain smiles, observing, “We try to get [our ingredients] as local as we can”. Indeed, the Patisserie has employed some unique methods of getting local ingredients. Last year, they did a “call out” for local farmers to send them rhubarb.
In addition, they are stocked by Welcome Table Farm, an organic farm. Welcome Table is horse-only, meaning draft horses, not tractors, do all the work. Pure Eire Dairy, a local dairy with all-grass-fed cows, provides the milk for the gelato. In addition, Cain and Christensen frequent the Walla Walla Farmer’s Market. “That really determines what we are making,” Cain adds.
The Patisserie also features local artists on the walls. “If I like it, I display it,” Cain states. “I feel like this is my living room.” If only all of our living rooms came stocked with gelato.