Closing the two-year-old location was a "bittersweet decision, but ultimately we decided to refocus our efforts on wholesale, corporate and e-commerce sales, which has grown exponentially in the past year and accounts for a significant portion of Tout Sweet Pâtisserie’s business," Pura said in a press release announcing the closure.
An employee organizes the macarons at Tout Sweet Palo Alto on Feb. 9, 2015. Photo by Michelle Le/Palo Alto Weekly.
Tout Sweet supplies fresh pastries and baked goods to a number of Bay Area hotels,
country clubs, cafes and caterers, according to the company. Expanding the wholesale department will allow Tout Sweet to "further grow its client base and widen its geographic reach," the announcement states.
Tout Sweet will also look to expand its special-events department, and Pura will focus on providing pastry and dessert consulting services to restaurants, bakeries and hotels throughout San Francisco, the Bay Area and the United States, according to Tout Sweet. These services include one-on-one consultations with clients on topics like staff training, menu design, food cost analysis and more.
"With many restaurants and hotels looking for ways to reduce kitchen payrolls, in-house pastry chefs
are quickly becoming an endangered species," Pura said in the release. "We are currently exploring ways that Tout Sweet Pâtisserie can create a viable option for the high quality, pastry chef-inspired desserts that San Francisco Bay Area patrons demand."
Tout Sweet Chief Operating Officer MeMe Pederson said in the announcement that "radically evolving" patterns of consumer purchasing are forcing retailers like Tout Sweet to "reexamine their business models."
"Through these kitchen-to-consumer services, we look forward to evolving and connecting with a new generation of customers," she continued. "We are seeing a high demand with the new delivery apps and we would like to expand on that model."
Pure opened his first Tout Sweet in San Francisco’s Union Square in 2012, two years after winning the first dessert spinoff season of Top Chef.
Palo Alto followed in December 2014, opening in a small space between Sushi House and Belcampo Meat Co. The patisserie sold macarons, marshmallows, cookies, tarts and cakes, including the one that Pura the Top Chef: Just Desserts title. (The signature "Petit Tout Sweet" is a layered flourless chocolate cake with candied milk jam and chocolate pearls.)
Biondivino, a longtime San Francisco wine shop, will be taking over the Town & Country space.