As someone who's relatively new to the industry, Matt Facendi wasn't planning on owning a restaurant for another five or 10 years.
But after coming across an ad from La Boulangerie Du Village owner Bob Wygant last year, Facendi, who graduated from Cambrian College's culinary program three years ago, ended up purchasing the downtown Sudbury business Oct. 1.
“I wasn't expecting anything like this for awhile, but it fell on my lap, and I took the opportunity and ran with it,” he said.
For his first three months in business, Facendi kept the Durham Street restaurant fairly similar to how it ran under Wygant's ownership. But with the new year, he changed the Boulangerie's decor, as well as its menu.
Facendi said the restaurant now focuses more on sandwiches, soups and hot drinks as opposed to selling breads. It does, however, feature sweet treats made by Facendi's fiancee, Kaitlin Edmonds.
The restaurant owner has also kept a few of the traditions from the “old” Boulangerie, including selling croissants filled with confections such as chocolate, cream and almond paste on Saturday mornings.
“I didn't want to take away things that people really liked,” Facendi said.
Many of the items sold at the Boulangerie — such as the soups — are made from scratch, he said.
The most popular menu item is the Italian Stallion sandwich, consisting of two types of salami, provolone cheese and basil pesto aioli put through a panini press. “I sold 20 today,” Facendi said.
Despite the recent closure of several downtown stores, he said he thinks the city's core has a lot of potential.
There's definitely a place for restaurants such as the Boulangerie, which cater to downtown workers looking to purchase lunch, he said.
Once the new architecture school is fully operational a few years from now, that should also attract a lot of customers, Fecendi said.
“I'm excited about what downtown has to offer,” he said.
The Boulangerie is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, phone 705-675-5000, or search for La Boulangerie Du Village on Facebook.