Local artisan boutique bakery brings a taste of Europe to Boise
story by Nicole Sharp
Autumn has gently taken the stage—cozy sweaters and a slowing of daily pace are in season once again. My perfect cappuccino clinks happily on its saucer. A Pain Au Chooclat flakes and melts in my mouth. Somewhere, soft music accompanies falling leaves, and I am transported to a dreamy Parisian café. The truth is, I am sitting in the best kept secret in Boise, Janjou pâtisserie, an artisan boutique bakery in the 18th Street Marketplace.
Janjou is not your typical coffee shop—people come here not just for the coffee, but for the experience. Owner and baker Moshit Mizrachi-Gabbitas has created a place where the pomp and circumstance of freshly baked French pastries intertwined with European style coffee is an event to behold.
When you step into Janjou, you are greeted by friendly Baristas, who are perfectionists in crafting the perfect coffee, crisp white tables, and delectable pastries. Trained at Estella, one of the finest culinary schools in Israel, Mizrachi-Gabbitas prepares buttery croissants, mouthwatering tarts almost too gorgeous to eat, quiches, and cookies fresh every day. Using locally produced butter and milk, Coffee from Lizzy’s Fresh coffee in Ketchum, and as much local and seasonal produce as possible, it’s easy to see that Mizrachi-Gabbitas is producing local quality and freshness.
It’s been almost two years since the doors of Janjou opened with a resounding welcome. Before that, in 2007, Mizrachi-Gabbitas started in her home kitchen to create a name for herself.
You won’t find any advertising for Janjou as they rely solely on the word of mouth of satisfied customers. Mid-morning when the tables are crowded and the freshly baked pastries are almost gone, it’s safe to say word about this Boise jewel is spreading fast.
I was lucky enough to sit down with Mizrachi-Gabbitas for a chat. I think it’s safe to say she is living her dream, one that began even before she moved to Boise, when she was working in the semi-conductor business. When her mother passed away, the realization that life is all too short prompted her to pursue what was left of her career doing what she loves the most: baking. When I asked her if she still loves it today as much as she did then, she replied with a resounding, “Yes. Even more now.” But this lifestyle isn’t for everyone. “You either have the passion for baking or you don’t.” It’s a crazy business and it must be the soul of a person if you are going to attempt it.
Mizrachi-Gabbitas and her family recently returned from vacation, where one of the stops was Paris. I asked her what she brought back and she grinned as her intense brown eyes lit up. “So many ideas. My imagination is going a hundred miles an hour.”
With the upcoming holiday season, she wants to continue to bring a little taste of Europe to Boise. What better way to accomplish this than to integrate the ever popular chestnut? Mizrachi-Gabbitas wasn’t ready to share what she had planned just yet, but I could tell this will be an exciting and innovative season at Janjou.
The holiday season at Janjou brings crowd favorites including apple tarts, pecan pies, quiches, and the traditional bûche de Noël, or yule log, just to name a few. All of these can of course be ordered to taste in various sizes, and pre-orders are available on their website. If you are looking to take a large number of goodies to go, it’s always a good idea to put an advance order in.
Mizrachi-Gabbitas has truly found the perfect blend of precise, European inspired baking, all right here in Boise.
To find out more about Janjou, find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or visit their website at www.janjou.com. Of course, the biggest favor you can do yourself is to just stop by.