Photo taken by Emilie Anderson
“That will be 5 dollars, please.” Money is exchanged with a smile. A croissant passes across the counter into eager hands. With one last cheerful farewell, senior Lysette Baudier watches as another satisfied customer walks out the door of her family’s French bakery, The Carlsbad French Pastry Cafe.
Baudier has been helping at her family’s bakery as soon as she was tall enough to see above the register. For regular customers, it was not uncommon to see her, the small blond girl, flitting around the shop and helping whenever she can. Baudier’s work at the bakery has taught her not only the value of hard work (both in the bakery and the classroom) but also the value of human connection— molding her into both a model citizen and dedicated friend.
The family bakery began as an idea from Baudier’s father, who moved from France in his early twenties to start a new life here in America.
“He learned about all these pastries and how to make them, and decided he wanted to create [a bakery] in Carlsbad himself,” Baudier explains, “And my mom was working around that (Carlsbad Village) shopping center, and came in and asked for a job one time, and that’s actually how they met. So they’ve been in business together for, I think 19 years.”
Starting a bakery, however, hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows for the Baudier family.
“It was really rough at the beginning because, with self-starting, you do everything yourself,” Baudier says, “You really don’t make a profit until you’ve been in business for a year. So my dad was the only employee at one point, making all of the stuff until two in the morning. But now that we’ve gone through those obstacles, we’re flourishing and making more money every year, so it’s doing good.”
The bakery is indeed flourishing, and even recently catered Sage Creek High School’s 2018 Prom— an exciting night for Baudier (as a student attending) as well as for the success of her family’s bakery. As for the reason behind this success— after watching her father lovingly bake pastry after pastry, day after day— Baudier feels the answer is clear.
“Everything is baked fresh every day,” Baudier remarks, “and with most bakeries, things aren’t that fresh and they don’t take as much time. People love it because it’s really authentic, and my dad just loves what he does, even after 19 years of doing it. So you can really just ‘taste the love’ in the pastries.”
This ‘love’ is exactly what draws customers to the bakery. Smiles are always given free of charge, and bad attitudes are left at the door. A smile illuminates on Baudier’s face as she thinks about the ‘regulars’ at her family’s bakery, people who have long enjoyed the love her family has to offer.
“Most customers who come into the bakery are customers we’ve had since the start of the bakery,” Baudier says.
Baudier describes her relationship with her work colleagues as a ‘second family.’ Many of the employees have watched her grow up, and together they have formed a close bond that goes deeper than the bakery.
“It’s fun having a family business because we all treat each other like family,” Baudier explains, “I work there, my brother sometimes works there, and my parents work together, so I can spend time with [them] even when they’re at work. It helps keep us close together.”
Baudier’s aforementioned brother— a former employee at the bakery and Sage Creek alumnus— Cassien Baudier, is constantly impressed by his sister in the bakery.
“She’s very dedicated— very responsible, professional, and independent. It doesn’t matter what time you need her there, she’ll be there, and she never complains because she’s serious about what we do,” Cassien said, “She’s caring— if somebody’s not having a good time, or having trouble with the food, she’ll be right there to help them the best that she can. Overall, she’s just a really good employee.”
Baudier’s caring attention to her customers and fellow employees has given her the opportunity to connect with all kinds of people outside of the family she has formed at the bakery— people that she wouldn’t normally have the chance to meet.
“I know a couple kids that work at the bakery that go [to Sage], and it kind of just helps you interact with people you wouldn’t normally talk to,” Baudier mentions, “Some people come out of random places and apply at the bakery, and it’s just really cool to get to know other people and what they’re about.”
Baudier’s open-minded and curious personality has not only aided her in the workplace, but also in the classroom, where she is known by her teachers as a hard-working and focused student. Her exceptional dedication to the bakery crosses over into her schoolwork as well, and she always impresses with her ability to keep going when things get tough.
“She is very diligent. What I mean is you know what she has done is quality work,” Baudier’s former U.S. History teacher, Vicente Tamayo explains, “For example, I had her fifth period and it wouldn’t be odd that she would be one of the last ones to leave.”
Not only is her school work exemplary, but Baudier’s attitude in the classroom has left a memorable impact on many as well.
“She is very empathetic and caring,” Tamayo says, “Whether it’s her smile or just her listening and contributing, it’s very obvious that she is personable, and that goes a long way. You can’t teach that.”
Baudier’s ability to balance her time at the bakery and school reflects her commitment to every aspect of her life. Although she doesn’t get much, she utilizes her time off to appreciate the important people in her life.
“I like hanging out with my friends and family,” Baudier smiles, “And I love my two dogs and spending time with them. That’s what’s important.”
Along with the gratitude for her family, Baudier deeply values her friendships and has a positive impact on those around her. One of Baudier’s closest friends, Ananya Thyagarajan, describes one of the many times Baudier has been there when she needed a friend.
“I remember one time I was having a bad day and I ended up getting lunch with Lysette, and I felt better because she made me laugh and we sat in her car and listened to music,” Thyagarajan recalls, “She’s such a positive person, it just made me feel so much better. And it made me happy that I have friends like that.”
Baudier’s compassion is not limited to just her friends but is also reflected by her actions at the bakery. As a family, the Baudier’s deliver extra food from the bakery to the homeless each day.
“There’s always a lot of extra food. And it’s things that are easy to transport to homeless people,” Baudier explains, “We put muffins, danishes and brioches— things that are filling for the homeless people— to the side at the end of the day so it is not just going to waste.”
Constantly inspired to help others who are less fortunate than herself, Baudier takes joy from the idea that she can fill at least a few hungry stomachs each day.
“Since I was little, I always loved playing cash register at the bakery. I loved just being behind the counter and helping people,” Baudier explains, “And it just makes me feel good that I am able to bring food to people that are not getting fed on a daily basis.”
Baudier’s compassionate nature is well-known by all she encounters, but especially by her classmates and friends.
“Lysette is such a sweet, friendly person, it’s easy for her to get along with so many people,” Thyagarajan says, “And she’s a good influence, she always encourages people to be their best and always listens to people.”
After years of lending a helping hand in the bakery, it’s clear where Baudier picked up this stellar attitude.
“She knows how to be nice and polite with people who aren’t maybe having the best day,” Thyagarajan remarks, “She always puts a smile on people’s faces, even the most rude customers because she’s still able to smile. Working at the bakery is difficult, but she’s a team player, she’s not afraid to step in and help.”
Looking back, Baudier agrees that her time at the bakery has shaped her personality and people skills over time.
“It’s definitely made me really responsible,” Baudier admits, “You’re always going to get people that are unhappy, but I’ve learned how to deal with that because in business, ‘the customer’s always right.’ So you just have to be nice to the customer, even if they’re not nice to you. You learn to be a kind person, even when other people aren’t.”
Whether it’s her work at the bakery or in the classroom, her close bonds with friends and family, or her positive attitude towards anyone who crosses her path— Lysette Baudier puts her all into everything she does. Her compassionate nature and loyal personality inspire her friends and family constantly and are a vital part of what makes her family’s bakery so special. Thyagarajan shrugs with a smile as she sums up Baudier’s bright personality.
“Everything a good friend should be,” she nodded confidently, “that’s Lysette.”