Owner: Joann Guitarte
Designer: Bobeck Parandian
Patch spoke with Café Jolie owner, Joann Guitarte and her partner, Bobeck Parandian, about their new venture, Café Jolie, which they named in honor of their daughter. No strangers to Alameda, the couple also owns the popular on Park Street (Bowzer is the family dog).
When did you open? Our coffee bar opened last Saturday (March 10, 2012). In April, we will offer full-service breakfast and lunch. We wanted a place where you could grab something and go or sit down and get full service. In about six or seven months, we will start hosting dinners with guest chefs.
What type of cuisine do you serve?
Joann: I would describe it as French-inspired fusion. Our chef, Nory [Madjlessi], comes from I Squared Restaurant. It’s good food at good prices. We use high-quality ingredients. We get produce from the and our dairy from Pt. Reyes. All our meats are sustainably farmed. We have a yummy range-free chicken burger.
Bobeck: We import our pastries from France — the croissants, chaussons au pommes, pain chocolat. I lived in France for nine years and fell in love with the pastries. It’s hard to find pastries that are this flaky. If it doesn’t get all over you, it’s probably not a good pastry! I’m really picky. It has to be more than OK. It has to melt you. We have a five-layer apple cake and a vanilla bean crème brulée cheesecake that’s incredible.
Joann: One of my favorites is the pecan-crusted French toast. It’s topped with fresh strawberries.
Bobeck: For breakfast, we will have good, healthy alternatives like turkey bacon and chicken sausages in addition to dishes like Crab Florentine. Everything is cooked to order. It’s not a conveyer belt.
People have been waiting impatiently for Café Jolie to open. Why did it take so long?
Bobeck: It was a long haul. This place never had any upgrades so everything had to be redone from the ground up. We gutted the interior. We also had to make the new doors ADA [accessible for individuals with disabilities]. We were dealing with contractors.
Joann: People have been asking us that all day! It was a combination of things, but there’s really no one to blame. We’re here now and want to help turn Webster Street around.
Café Jolie is located at 1500 Webster Street. Telephone: 510-523-4500. Hours: Open every day from 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.