A pinch of purpose, a dash of determination, tablespoons of talent and a heap of hard work is the unique recipe for success of Le Croissant French Bakery.
Opened in January and located in Vista Run Shopping Center, Le Croissant is easily identified by the line of anxious customers waiting to be among the first of the day to experience Central Indiana’s talk of the town.
The aroma of fresh-from-the-oven delicacies greets you upon entering, and the sight of the display case is a feast for the eyes. There you’ll find flaky croissants – chocolate, strawberry, and almond – covered in powdered sugar, glistening chocolate cream puffs and eclairs, tarts and cheese danishes topped with berries, cookies, quiche and warm sourdough bread and baguettes.
Behind the counter, employees buzz about keeping up with the orders, and at the center of all this activity is Pedro Ulloa, owner and baker extraordinaire.While he is not completely surprised at the enthusiastic response, Ulloa is humbled.
“Every day there is a line. Every single day,” he says excitedly. “The first day we opened, there was so much left at the end of the day. I shared it with all of the other shops around. They loved everything and they told their friends. A few days later, we sold out, and have sold out every day since then.”
Ulloa is proud of the success of Le Croissant, but he does not take it for granted.
The road that led to Greenwood was long and difficult. A native of Mexico, Ulloa joined other family members living in Los Angeles, arriving on July 4, 1985. Decades of laborious work would follow but it’s his ‘never give up’ spirit that defines him.
“I’ve always worked. Hard work. And I was good at it. Bosses always said they wished they had a hundred Pedros,” he says with a chuckle.
Determined to become a U.S. citizen, which took 14 years, he worked in landscaping, meat packing facilities, restaurants, worked as a welder, auto mechanic and home remodeler, just to name a few. But baking was his forte, his passion, and lucky for us, his destiny.
Ulloa is in the bakery every morning at 3 a.m. and remains there long after it closes, preparing for the next day. With only one mixer, the process is tedious and time-consuming. He has his sights set on acquiring a larger mixer which will enable him to prepare more pastries in less time. Another goal on Ulloa’s list is to open a second Le Croissant French Bakery in Carmel.
“We’ve had customers from Muncie, Lafayette, Plainfield,” he says. “Every day, customers from Carmel come here and beg me to open a bakery there.
“I would like to have a second bakery and I think it will be a success in Carmel. There are bakeries all over town, but nothing like what we offer at Le Croissant French Bakery. But first, a new mixer.”
Le Croissant is located at 916 E. Main Street, Greenwood. The bakery is open Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.