From the moment you arrive within 50 feet of Caicos Bakery, the intense aroma of fresh bread and pastries takes over, beckoning you to patisserie paradise.
It was in 2005 that Eric Cuvillon followed his older brother, Frederic, to help run what was then a wholesale bakery firm, selling high quality French bread to local hotels and restaurants. Today, the bakery is the No. 2 “restaurant” on TripAdvisor and a regular morning stop for locals and tourists alike.
The shop with barely enough room for six customers at a time could easily be a transplant from the backstreet of a swanky European city. Windows marked with gold-leaf lettering lead you into a vibrant shop with lemon-colored walls lined with baskets filled with baked goods. Tatiana Milovanovic greets customers from behind a glass display counter revealing an array of croissants, tarts, quiches, sausage rolls and éclairs. A native of Paris, Tatiana has lived in Turks and Caicos for five years, arriving just before the shop opened.
The bakery has no website, (edit – but is now on Facebook). You cannot place an order online and credit cards are not accepted. Eric and Tatiana do it this way because it works for them. If you want a cake, you have to visit the shop to order it. No telephone calls. And above all else, freshness is paramount.
“It’s the culture. You simply cannot have a baguette that was done two days before,” Eric says. Everything is baked the day it’s sold. Eric wouldn’t dare serve you a day-old croissant.
The future for Caicos Bakery? Maybe another shop, maybe more emphasis on products to please the palates of the shop’s mostly American clientele. Muffins, perhaps? That is, if a French baker can bear the thought. That’s yet to be determined. In the meantime, Eric is doing what he intended: bringing a bit of French culture to the tropics.