Celebrate the Croissant with Old School Bakery

By Paula Detwiller

If you’ve ever enjoyed a light, buttery, fresh-baked croissant, then you understand why this delicate pastry has its own holiday. National Croissant Day is Monday, January 30, and the Old School Bakery booth at the Delray GreenMarket will be well-stocked this Saturday to help you mark the occasion.

Old School Bakery has been a Delray GreenMarket vendor since the market opened16 years ago. And owner Billy Himmelrich says people have always been crazy about their croissants—both plain and chocolate.

From Paris with Love

Billy, a professional chef, learned how to make authentic croissants at the Ritz Hotel in Paris. After perfecting his culinary skills at several Michelin 3-star establishments abroad, he returned to the U.S. and opened his first bakery in Baltimore, Maryland 25 years ago.

When he moved to South Florida in the late 1990s, Billy considered opening a restaurant.

“Then I thought about the basic ingredients in bread—flour, water, salt and yeast,” he says. “Since a bakery had lower ingredient costs than a restaurant, I figured I’d lower my risk of failure.”

It was a smart move. Today, Old School Bakery’s breads and pastries are served at some of the finest restaurants in the region:  Joe’s Stone Crab and the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach.  The Breakers and Café Boulud in Palm Beach. And here in Delray, Tramonti, Caffé Luna Rosa, and Seagate Beach Club are a few of the eateries serving Old School Bakery products.

 

Building a Croissant Fan Base

Old School Bakery operates a retail store and café at 814 East Atlantic Avenue in downtown Delray, where you can enjoy a cappuccino with your fresh croissant and buy a baguette to take home. The outlet store at its commercial bakery (45 N. Congress Ave. in Delray Beach) offers fresh-baked products along with day-old breads at reduced prices.

Billy says he appreciates that the Delray GreenMarket focuses on local vendors, and that having booth there has helped build awareness of Old School Bakery in the community.

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