It's buttery, it's French, and it's entirely delicious.
Ask any Aucklander and they’ll know that at the heart of Dominion Road is a couple of thousand dumplings and some noodles. So something a little unique is always a welcome addition. Freddy Brignone and Julia Willis recently became that point of difference with their new cafe, Florette.
The pair recently moved up from Tauranga where Brignone ran two successful eateries with his wife. In need of a little more of the hustle and bustle — Brignone was beginning to miss the history, the culture, the beautiful historic buildings of his homeland, France — Auckland was the next best thing. As a tribute to both his heritage and his 96-year-old grandmother (who still resides in France), he and Willis opened Florette.
The duo chose a building with character, close to the Valley Road intersection. It needed to be inspiring rather than banausic, and with a few of their own little tweaks — a bit of paint, some French artwork by his great grandfather Edmond Lahaye, vintage furniture — it has become a labour of love. With a flurry of people traipsing into the small space every day, they soon aim to have a cosy lounge out the back to cater to those who aren’t in a rush to go anywhere.
Every morning, Willis wakes up early to prepare the freshly baked goods. The glass cabinet is brimming with pain au chocolats, croissants, mini apple beignets, slices and croque monsieurs. If you’re taking it away, they take care in mentioning that, of course, it all tastes better if you can heat it up. Otherwise, it’ll be served warmed, cheese all gooey, chocolate all melted. They also have freshly baked baguettes, crêpes, omelettes and ‘breakfast in bread’; a hollowed out cob stuffed with bacon, mushroom, egg and cheese. And to complete the experience? As well as a signature Gothic charcoal latte, they offer creamy Atomic coffees, smoothies and juices.
A trip to Florette will give you the same sensory impact as sitting outside on a busy cobbled street in Paris, coffee in hand, reading a book. It’s buttery, it’s French, it’s delicious, and we think grandma would be very pleased indeed.
Tuesday to Friday: 7.30am – 4pm
Saturday to Sunday: 8.30am – 3pm
297 Dominion Road