Since September 2016, one of the “musts” on Grenville’s budding Maple Street has been Fromage et cie restaurant, famous for its selection of poutines, friendly service and cozy atmosphere.
If that wasn’t reason enough to make you stop by, Fromage et cie now has its very own fromagerie, right next to the restaurant. Just when you thought their poutine couldn’t get any better.
“Opening our very own fromagerie was the plan all along,” said Nathalie Malo, owner of the Fromage et cie operation.
Malo’s plan was for Fromage et cie to make its own cheese from the get-go, but she admitted that opening the restaurant side of the business wasn’t something that was planned many years in advance. It was simply the result of a perfect coincidental storm.
“We’re dairy farmers. We had been thinking of making and selling cheese for a while, but didn’t want to do it on the farm because it’s a bit out of the way.”
A few years back, Malo learned that friends of the family had purchased the property at 29 Maple Street, in Grenville, to open an ice cream shop under the La Crémière banner. Back then, they were also looking for someone to open a complementary business in the same building.
“I spoke with my kids and we thought it would be a cool idea to open a fromagerie and restaurant, with poutine and fresh curds. So, we rented the place. We couldn’t simply do nothing with it while waiting for all the permits, so we opened the restaurant first.”
The move clearly paid off, for Malo said she was surprised at how well the restaurant did from the very start, with people lining up on opening day.
“It started so quickly. We had to put the fromagerie plans on hold for six months.”
Up until their own cheese curds became available, Fromage et cie used fresh curds from St-Albert. Nowadays, patrons will have curds made just a few steps away.
“It’s the same with the restaurant. People can see the kitchen; see us work. They see the types of foods and ingredients we use. I find it reassuring and I think our customers appreciate it. It also helps with contact, team spirit and keeping that family vibe.”
The restaurant’s decor definitely adds an element of coziness to the operation. Fans of rustic, country-cottage deco should feel right at home in Fromage et cie’s dining room.
“I wanted a vibe that takes people elsewhere. I want them to forget they had a bad day when they walk in. It represents us well, I think.”
Even though poutine is their star item, Fromage et cie has a surprisingly versatile menu, catering to fans of snack bar classics, home-cooked meals, themed menus and vegetarian selections. Moreover, Malo believes in buying local, as most of her ingredients are locally made or grown. Even the mayo!
Things are looking good for the family-owned business, with many interesting things in store for the future.
“We’ve been making cheese for a week, so managing all that is a priority. We always want it to be fresh, so we can’t make too much… But we can’t run out either! We’re off to a great start, but we might need a bigger team eventually. We’re also looking to expand our product line.”
Malo also said she would love to open a special counter dedicated to the fromagerie’s products, where cheese and other foods would be sold.
All that, coupled with a fantastic, busy location definitely make Fromage et cie one of the area’s highlights. Located at 29A Maple Street, in Grenville, the restaurant is open seven days a week.
Those wishing to be kept in the loop should follow their Facebook page (@fromagecie), for they are quite active and have lots of promotions.
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