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The French Confection Brings Authentic Bistro Flair And Taste To Middletown

By S. Mathur

The French Confection is where the good people of Aquideck Island go to get their daily fix of chocolate croissant and cappuccino. Or fruit tarts and creme puffs. Or weekend brunches with quiche, savory croissant sandwiches and Croque Monsieur.

"We are a French bakery with added sweets, including some American and Italian goodies," owner Xavier Mauprivez said. "We have typical French breakfast and dessert pastries and cakes but we also make sandwiches on croissants. We make a lot of quiche also."

Mauprivez inherited his culinary skills, being a fifth generation French baker and pastry chef, whose family hails from the city of Reims. His wife Karen is a graduate of Penn State and Carnegie-Mellon Universities, and her education in management is useful in handling the business side of things. Her official title is Business Manager. They moved the bakery to Middletown RI in 2012, after 20 years in Maryland.

The French Confection serves breakfast, lunch and desserts. Everything is made by hand, on site. In common with good French recipes, there's plenty of rich butter and cream.

"Every chef's pastries should be unique, even with the same recipe so there is no real competitor," Mauprivez said. "It's a community of craftspeople."

As well as baked goods and French comfort foods, The French Confection specializes in special orders for weddings cakes and other special occasion cakes. The Genoise cake with Italian buttercream and fillings like chocolate ganache, fresh fruit and custards is highly recommended. The holiday menu includes the Buche de Noel or Yule Log with chocolate, hazelnut or Grand Marnier buttercream, fruit cake with cognac, Christmas cookies and truffles.

Customers look forward to the food and also to the experience of a genuine French patisserie.

"Customers will often share stories of their trips to France or about their favorite pastries," Mauprivez said. "Sometimes they practice their French. We take pride in the quality of ingredients and workmanship and the authenticity of the baked goods. When customers of ours go to France, they'll get the same pastries that they see here."

The location and decor make it a good place to meet up with friends, or just to spend some quiet time alone. There's a cozy fire and free WiFi to help people feel at home. In fact, regular customers find themselves making excuses for yet another trip to the bistro. A good day, a bad day, a busy working lunch, a relaxed weekend morning: all of these are good reasons to visit The French Confection.

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