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  Patisserie Viennoise – 25 Years On

Trevor Backhouse

22nd Sept 2011

From Gomersal via Juan-Les-Pins to Otley is the route taken by Trevor Backhouse that ended with his formation of the Patisserie Viennoise on Westgate. This week he celebrated 25 years of that company and told us in an accomplished and enjoyable narration the story of his life up to his Diamond Year in business.

 Starting as an apprentice at Whitehead’s Bakery in Gomersal and attending the Danby College in Leeds he learnt his trade and spent eight years at the bakery before looking for fresh fields to expand his knowledge of confectionary. In 1981 he applied for two jobs, one in the Falklands and the other in France . Fortunately, after a telephone interview, he obtained the French post on a six months trial. He stayed just over four years and became a confectioner at the Patisserie in Juan-Les-Pins, whose owner Wolfgang was German. Whilst there he met his future business partner Carol.

 They had both decided that they wanted to own their own business and returned to England to look for premises. Their search was futile and Trevor took up the offer of help from Joe Teal.

Joe was as good as his word and offered them a room above his baker’s shop on Manor Square .  Working day and night they slowly developed their business until eventually larger premises were required and they bought the building on Westgate that now houses the business, named after the Juan-Les-Pins establishment, Patisserie Viennoise. Carol and Trevor worked together for six years before she left to move into the restaurant trade.

 Trevor obviously makes lasting friendships, as two German colleagues from his days in France dined with other friends at Brassiere 44, Carol’s restaurant in Leeds , to celebrate his time in business.

Our next meeting is on Thursday 6th October at Otley Methodist Church at 10-00am when Brian Bruce will tell us about “Fair Trade”.


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