Back in March we first got word that Cafe Bonjour would be consolidating its Queen Anne location with its Green Lake location, and moving out of its Queen Anne Avenue home to make way for a new eatery–Cafe de Lion.
The “luxury pastry boutique” celebrated its soft opening on Sunday, April 10, the 4th birthday of owners Daisuke and Tomoyo Miura’s son Lion, after whom the shop is named.
While visiting Seattle on business trip last summer, Daisuke and Tomoyo fell in love with the area, and an idea for a brand new business. They quickly wrapped up loose ends and made plans to move from San Diego to the Pacific Northwest, deciding to both live and open their new business here in Queen Anne.
“The town is really compact and the city has that European style,” Daisuke said. “When we came is was summer time, so we didn’t know it rains this much.”
Still, rain or not, for Tomoyo Seattle was the ideal place to open a French pastry cafe with a unique twist – one that combines traditional French pastries with flavors and seasonings inspired by the couple’s Japanese heritage. And so the concept behind Cafe de Lion was born.
Tomoyo, who studied French pastry making while living in France, started creating delectable sweets for special orders and catered events back in 2007, around the time Lion was born. At the time she was inspired to make sweets that were healthy for Lion to eat, and her recipes blossomed from there.
Everything on the menu – from the pastries, to the sandwiches, quiche, macaroons, chocolates, jams (fruit combinations mixed with milk caramel, vanilla or chocolate), gummy sweets, and coffee – is made from all natural ingredients, and organic when available. And despite the deceptively bright colors of some of the treats, Tomoyo says there is no food coloring in her pastries. Instead she artistically colors her creations with natural strawberry, raspberry and blueberry powders.
And while there’s no shortage of caffeine options in Seattle, or here on the hill for that matter, Cafe de Lion has an interesting take on coffee as well. In addition to offering a variety of coffee and tea drinks, the shop also makes what Daisuke referred to as traditional Japanese iced coffee, which requires overnight preparation, each concentrated drop slowly making its way through an elaborate brewing contraption over the course of an eight hour period.
“Japanese coffee houses, they all have this,” he said. “I wanted to bring that Japanese style to Seattle, the coffee town.”
In the meantime, Daisuke and Tomoyo say they are excited to become part of the neighborhood, as residents and business owners. And the reception so far has been wonderful.
“This is just a start for us. We want to be loved by the neighborhood,” Daisuke said. “Our goal is to be just like a neighbor–somebody in the corner house cooked something really good and wants to share it with the neighbors.”