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Jim D.

Has L'Epicérie Closed?

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5 hours ago, Jim D. said:

@andiesenji, I would be very interested in hearing how the order turns out. Do you mind telling what the "elsewhere" is where you have found Agrimontana products? Pacific Gourmet in Brisbane, CA has the pistachio paste, but I get the impression from their website that they sell only in large quantities (3kg in a case). The only other place I found is SOS Chefs in Manhattan, where the price is the aforementioned $175 per kilo.

There was a supplier in L.A. that carried it. I can't remember the name.  I got the name from one of the trade magazines several years ago.

 

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I received my order from L'Epicerie today.  

The fruits are vacuum sealed in plastic bags but they provide a carton for them after the bag is opened.  

I just cut around the edges of the carton and removed that portion of the bags to access the contents.

There is a wold of difference between this stuff and the regular "fruits" - expensive but to me worth every penny.

The flavor is lovely and the fruits are tender.  

The flavor of the citron is intense and it too is very tender.  

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 2.07.05 PM.png

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@andiesenji, thank you so much for posting that. Seeing is indeed believing. And I am also glad to know about those fruits--I will give them a try.

 

I believe it is now safe to say that L'Epicérie is back.

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1 hour ago, Jim D. said:

@andiesenji, thank you so much for posting that. Seeing is indeed believing. And I am also glad to know about those fruits--I will give them a try.

 

I believe it is now safe to say that L'Epicérie is back.

I still can't recall the name of the bakery supply place but their minimum order for the glazed fruits was 5kg.  That was fine when I was catering and baking large batches of fruitcakes, stollen and panettone but way too much for me, even splitting with a couple of other hobby bakers.

There is a place in Canada that imports and sell the Italian glazed fruits, the mixed as well as whole fruits but they too will only ship in 5kg amounts per item.   The name is ELIO Importing.

 

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7 hours ago, andiesenji said:

I still can't recall the name of the bakery supply place but their minimum order for the glazed fruits was 5kg.  That was fine when I was catering and baking large batches of fruitcakes, stollen and panettone but way too much for me, even splitting with a couple of other hobby bakers.

There is a place in Canada that imports and sell the Italian glazed fruits, the mixed as well as whole fruits but they too will only ship in 5kg amounts per item.   The name is ELIO Importing.

 

I think I'm familiar with them from the restaurant show.

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40 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

I think I'm familiar with them from the restaurant show.

I used to have a friend in Niagara, (passed about five years ago), who owned a bakery/café and bought from them, and a couple of times, mid 2000s, sent me some of their products after I sent her some peppers and a few pounds of my candied ginger.

The whole fruits were impressive.

 

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Has anyone had trouble with L’Epicerie recently? (Hi, I’m new :).) I placed an order for apple pectin and fleur de sel on February 2, never received it. Left two voicemails on 2/15 and 2/16. Nothing. Emailed. Heard the fleur de sel was out of stock until early March. I asked if they could ship the pectin now and the salt later. No, they don’t do that (not even for $20 shipping). They offered to cancel the salt and ship the pectin. I responded to please do. Now two weeks later I still have not received anything. 

 

The pectin was for an assignment and I don’t see how I can meet the deadline at this point. Does anyone know where I can get apple pectin in a smaller quantity fairly quickly? I’m just a student, not yet in production, so I don’t need a ton. 

 

Thanks!

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@Pastrypastmidnight

 

I'm sorry about your experience. Before I comment further, you can try Chef Rubber for the pectin in small quantities (there are many other places as well).

 

I had written a long statement on my experience with L'Epicérie but decided not to post it. I have had such good experience with the company in the past, but there is no question that something has changed. During the time they were closed I found other vendors for the products I needed, but no one I have found provides such small quantities of high-quality pastry items (I had to buy such a large container of fondant from another vendor that I was forced to buy lots of smaller containers to be able to store it in my space). Here is what I wrote originally:

 

It is good that andiesenji had a positive experience with the "reconstituted" L'Epicérie. I wish I could report the same, but cannot do so. I ordered two kilos of hazelnut paste and one of the Agrimontana pistachio paste (which, I am learning, is available almost nowhere these days). In about a week a box came from Saint-Germain at a Warwick, Rhode Island, address (that was also the company name used by UPS in their notification). The box was completely soaked in hazelnut paste, as was the packing material. I quickly realized that one container of paste had a large crack in it, and all the contents had leaked out. The other container was OK. There was no pistachio paste. I immediately phoned the RI number, but there was no answer, so I left a message about the issues. When I did not hear back, I emailed the company (there is a statement on the website that a customer has 24 hours to report a damaged shipment, and I have once before missed the deadline, with unpleasant consequences--but that was my fault). About two days later, I phoned again (no answer) and sent an email, this time saying that my next step would be to contact UPS and/or request my credit card company do a "chargeback" to get me a refund. This time I got an email reply, saying they were working as fast as they could to resolve the issue. The person also explained that nothing has changed about L'Epicérie except they have a new warehouse and share it with an import company named Saint-Germain. When I got the next UPS notice and saw the package weighed 4 pounds, I knew it could not possibly contain both the replacement hazelnut and the pistachio. Sure enough, it contained one undamaged kilo of hazelnut, no mention of the pistachio. So I emailed again, heard nothing for several days, then an automated message saying there was a refund to my credit card and the pistachio was out of stock. I had said I was willing to wait for it, but that was ignored.

 

I know this is very detailed, but I wanted to explain my ambivalence about future orders. Yes, accidents can happen in shipments, and yes, finally the issues were (mostly) resolved, but it should not take what it did on my part. 

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9 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

@Pastrypastmidnight

 

I'm sorry about your experience. Before I comment further, you can try Chef Rubber for the pectin in small quantities (there are many other places as well).

 

I had written a long statement on my experience with L'Epicérie but decided not to post it. I have had such good experience with the company in the past, but there is no question that something has changed. During the time they were closed I found other vendors for the products I needed, but no one I have found provides such small quantities of high-quality pastry items (I had to buy such a large container of fondant from another vendor that I was forced to buy lots of smaller containers to be able to store it in my space). Here is what I wrote originally:

 

It is good that andiesenji had a positive experience with the "reconstituted" L'Epicérie. I wish I could report the same, but cannot do so. I ordered two kilos of hazelnut paste and one of the Agrimontana pistachio paste (which, I am learning, is available almost nowhere these days). In about a week a box came from Saint-Germain at a Warwick, Rhode Island, address (that was also the company name used by UPS in their notification). The box was completely soaked in hazelnut paste, as was the packing material. I quickly realized that one container of paste had a large crack in it, and all the contents had leaked out. The other container was OK. There was no pistachio paste. I immediately phoned the RI number, but there was no answer, so I left a message about the issues. When I did not hear back, I emailed the company (there is a statement on the website that a customer has 24 hours to report a damaged shipment, and I have once before missed the deadline, with unpleasant consequences--but that was my fault). About two days later, I phoned again (no answer) and sent an email, this time saying that my next step would be to contact UPS and/or request my credit card company do a "chargeback" to get me a refund. This time I got an email reply, saying they were working as fast as they could to resolve the issue. The person also explained that nothing has changed about L'Epicérie except they have a new warehouse and share it with an import company named Saint-Germain. When I got the next UPS notice and saw the package weighed 4 pounds, I knew it could not possibly contain both the replacement hazelnut and the pistachio. Sure enough, it contained one undamaged kilo of hazelnut, no mention of the pistachio. So I emailed again, heard nothing for several days, then an automated message saying there was a refund to my credit card and the pistachio was out of stock. I had said I was willing to wait for it, but that was ignored.

 

I know this is very detailed, but I wanted to explain my ambivalence about future orders. Yes, accidents can happen in shipments, and yes, finally the issues were (mostly) resolved, but it should not take what it did on my part. 

Jim, I appears to me that their current approach to customer service, for whatever reason, seems to be to put their heads down and hope nobody bothers them/calls them on it.  Which is disappointing.  I'm sorry you have had such a negative experience as well.  Thank you for sharing it.

 

And thank you for the Chef Rubber suggestion.  I have noticed that they carry it at twice the price of L'Epicerie.  But perhaps that is the price one has to pay to receive the item ordered.  Thanks again!

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15 minutes ago, Pastrypastmidnight said:

 

Jim, I appears to me that their current approach to customer service, for whatever reason, seems to be to put their heads down and hope nobody bothers them/calls them on it.  Which is disappointing.  I'm sorry you have had such a negative experience as well.  Thank you for sharing it.

 

And thank you for the Chef Rubber suggestion.  I have noticed that they carry it at twice the price of L'Epicerie.  But perhaps that is the price one has to pay to receive the item ordered.  Thanks again!

L'Epicérie has amazing prices. I have had to pay much more for the same items bought elsewhere (and, as I mentioned, usually in much larger quantities). Somewhere on their website there is a history of the company. The founder set out to provide exactly what they did: to offer small quantities of quality ingredients for lower prices. Where else could one buy a single kilo of Cacao Barry hazelnut praline paste, regardless of the price?

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