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Family from France moves to Pahrump to open bakery

A new gourmet taste came to Pahrump at the beginning of the year with a set of newcomers bringing rich desserts and fresh-made breads to the area.

Richard Candillier and his wife, Eliette, and their youngest son Julien, opened the doors to their authentic French bakery in January at 1231 E. Basin Ave., known as Ô Happy Bread—also named Ô Pain Joyeux, in French.

Eliette said the family saw an opportunity in Pahrump with no French bakery in the area.

Since its opening in January, the family has been serving the community an array of treats such as chocolate croissants, baklava, flan, eclairs and its royal chocolate cake. Diners can also grab one of the bakery’s list of French bread options.

Those looking for lunch or breakfast options can grab a sandwich; a salad; or the daily soup, which has brought selections such as the Baja chicken soup. Diners can also try some quiche, lasagna and add a soft drink or a cappuccino or latte to their order.

The bakery also has several options for diners looking for indoor or outdoor eating spaces, or they can always take it to go.

The family arrived in Pahrump in September 2016 from France—opening the bakery’s doors a few months later. However, they’ve owned a house in the area for about three years.

Eliette said they discovered the town during their travels across the West.

Eliette and Richard weren’t always bakers. Eliette worked as a nurse in her home country, and Richard was in the military police in Castanet-Tolosan, France, which he retired from in 2015. Julien did, however, have experience working as a pastry chef in France.

Soon after his retirement, Richard attended a one-year baking school, then he and his family were off to a new life in Pahrump.

The couple’s youngest son Julien came, but the Candilliers have another son still living in France—who is in the special forces in the French military.

Eliette said she misses France sometimes, as it’s such a beautiful country, she said.

But the family has no plans to return to their home country.

It was a transition for the Candilliers—moving into a new life as bakers.

“It’s just a total change,” Eliette said.

Richard said it was difficult in the beginning.

He and his son arrive at 4 a.m. to get things ready for the day and leave around 8 p.m., Eliette said.

The bakery’s summer hours for the public are 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. On Saturday, the shop opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 5:30 p.m.

Ô Happy Bread is scheduled to extend its hours back to Monday through Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., in October.

Locals seem satisfied with the finished product and the owners.

“I look forward to coming all the time, and particularly their quiche plates are fabulous,” said local resident and customer, Pepper Jay. “Everything is fresh, and they’re friendly, like family.”

Their authentic French bread also brings another positive to the community.

All the breads at the bakery are sourdough, which some studies have shown to be a safe for people who have celiac disease—or an intolerance to gluten.

In a small study done in 2011, “Safety for patients with celiac disease of baked goods made of wheat flour hydrolyzed during food processing,” found that “baked goods made from hydrolyzed wheat flour, manufactured with sourdough lactobacilli and fungal proteases, was not toxic to patients with celiac disease.”

Essentially, the gluten is reduced in sourdough bread during a fermentation process, making it safe for gluten-intolerant people. It should be noted that some sourdough breads found at the commercial level in grocery stores are not created in the same manner and may not have the same result.

But the bakery has had positive results.

“We’ve had numerous customers that have been told they’re gluten intolerant and haven’t had bread for years, but they’re in here all the time buying bread because this bread doesn’t hurt them,” said Gail Darby, an employee at the Ô Happy Bread bakery.

The Candilliers also give to the community in other ways.

Darby said the bakery has senior and military discounts available.

“They’re very supportive of our town and the seniors and military here,” she said.

The Candilliers also give their leftovers to two local churches. The Pahrump Community Church receives bread and sweet rolls every Monday; the Pahrump Methodist Church receives refrigerated pastries on Saturdays that the bakery wasn’t going to use.

Elliette said the group has roughly four employees, not including family members. A new baker from France was brought in recently, and plans to bring in another pastry chef are also in the works.

For the most part, the business has been running smoothly with a good amount of traffic, though it has slowed a little over the summer, Eliette said.

The future could be good for the family, as Eliette said there are plans for expansion—in Pahrump and possibly elsewhere, she said.

For now, she wants to see how things go.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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