Pastry by Camille: The Full French experience in Buffalo on Hertel Avenue

By Tessa Pszonak

Photography Director

Pastry by Camille not only offers delicious French cuisine to their customers, they also offer the full French experience as soon as you step foot into the cafe. His first location, located at 1416 Hertel Avenue, has a spacious and bright dining area with little touches of French decor that can be spotted throughout the cafe. Customers can enjoy a homemade croissant or even their one-of-a-kind macaroons while taking in the beautiful art pieces made by both national and international artists which are displayed around the cafe.

Camille Le Caër, a 25 year old pastry chef from Brittany, France, brought his passion for baking to Buffalo. In 2014, he moved from France to New York City in order to further pursue his career as a pastry chef. While living in NYC, he met his wife, Lexi, a Lockport Native. In 2016, they decided that Buffalo would be the best place to settle down and start their family.

Once Le Caër settled into his new life as a Buffalonian, he began working at Giancarlo’s Steakhouse in Williamsville as their pastry chef. A year later, he moved on to work as a pastry chef for Ristorante Lombardo’s in Buffalo. After gaining experience at both restaurants, Le Caër found his calling, which was to open a pastry shop of his own.

“There is no future for pastry making in Buffalo. I felt like this was my chance to add something a little bit different to Buffalo,” Le Caër said. “You have good stuff in Buffalo, but I see that there is a lot to improve.”

As June approaches, Pastry by Camille will be celebrating its one year anniversary since opening the cafe on Hertel. Le Caër has been so successful in making his dreams become a reality because of the love and support he has received from the Buffalo community. Most of his customers are regulars who come in daily to enjoy one of his exquisite dishes. Over time, he has grown relationships with them.

As customers came in, he greeted each person by name and checked in on how they were doing. One customer even gave him a homemade placek, which is a type of Polish bread that her mother made for Dyngus Day.

“There have been some rough patches since opening the cafe, but we made it by with the help of the good people of Buffalo,” Le Caër said.

Pastry by Camille has even expanded to opening a second cafe at the Market Arcade Building downtown. From creating his business in 2017 as just a pop-up stand, to owning two pastry shops in Buffalo, Le Caër has gone a long way and he is not stopping anytime soon.

Although his cafe is gaining success, in order for him to further improve it, he needs to take out a loan. Le Caër is unable to pursue this action due to issues he is facing with his extended green card. After two years with a green card, an individual needs to renew it through a re-application and interview process. After this, if the individual gains approval for another green card, it can take up to sixteen months to get it back.

Right now, Le Caër has temporary paperwork which obstructs him from taking out a loan. While he is patiently waiting, Le Caër is reaching out to the community of Buffalo and asking for any kind of donation to help improve the cafe.

He is looking to purchase new machinery and would like to expand the kitchen so customers can watch the chefs as they make their meal. Le Caër understands and appreciates the importance of asking for help and relying on neighbors. He wants to do something for the community of Buffalo and would like to see the community give back to their local business in return.

“We deserve as much as our neighbors to get something nice,” said Le Caër. To donate, his GoFundMe can be found at https://tinyurl.com/PastrybyCamille.

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