The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

Staff Spotlight
Seth Fletcher
Seth Fletcher
Staff Reporter

Seth Fletcher is a sophomore at Sage Creek and is a returning Staff Reporter for The Sage who plans to deliver high-quality entertainment articles. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis and video...

French Corner Brings Authenticity to the Table

Photo by Jadyn Haid
One of the French Corner locations is in the Carlsbad Village. They currently have happy hour going from 4-7 p.m.

The French Corner in Carlsbad Village has been bringing happiness to customers and workers since 2018. There are very few Parisian cafes in the Carlsbad area, and the French Corner is a cute spot bringing a piece of France to California. 

French Corner is owned by Alexandra Palombi-Long, who started out as a chef in a commercial kitchen, but has grown her business into a comfort for customers. Palombi-Long also has three children, two of whom are students at Sage Creek High School, so when she’s not working she’s spending time with her family. 

French Corner offers many different beverages and mainly serves breakfast, lunch and dessert items. Their main goal is to express French tradition in their creations.

Eclairs are one of the delicious items on French Corner’s menu. They are pastries with cream in the middle that are layered with icing and either a raspberry or chocolate stick to top it off. (Photo by Jadyn Haid)

French Corner’s first location opened in 2013 in Leucadia near Encinitas. Carlsbad Village’s French Corner is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Happy hour takes place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. for those who want to purchase alcoholic beverages, cheese boards, charcuterie boards, sliders, soufflés or flat breads.

Palombi-Long was raised in Paris but moved to New York when she was older. She found that New York had several different restaurants and a variety of good food, although when coming to San Diego she was surprised by the little diversity of restaurants. Palombi-Long had an even more challenging time finding authentic French food. She has always greatly appreciated her country’s food and wanted others to enjoy it as well. Palombi-Long said that she opened French Corner “for the love of food.” She has tried her best to share the native and fresh elements of a French cafe to San Diego.

Everything on the French Corner menu is made by hand following Palombi-Long’s family recipes. Some popular menu items include the nutella and strawberry crȇpe, savory crȇpe, ham crȇpe, croissant and berry tart. The restaurant offers sandwiches, salads and coffee as well. French Corner also makes a range of different pies. All products have been carefully selected for their enriching tastes and seasonings.

“We feel very good because we know when people eat it, it’s healthy for them,” Palombi-Long said. “Which I feel a lot of people don’t care and that’s very sad, people just want to make money.” 

It’s common for businesses and companies to focus mainly on the profit side of their avenue, although French Corner is special in the area that they truly care about the products their customers are putting in their bodies. Food at French Corner not only tastes good but is also healthy due to their use of fresh ingredients. 

These are more of the treats that French Corner makes from scratch. Their French desserts not only taste good but have beautiful presentations. ( Photo by Jadyn Haid)

“The difference between me and a lot of other restaurants is it’s just me versus businesses with a lot of people, who have so much money,” Palombi-Long said. “For me, it was trying to offer something very authentic without curbing with money, just offering a good product with what we have. We’re a very small business, this is the truth.”

Palombi-Long puts tireless effort into her business and spends 50-60 hours working a week. She mentioned how she constantly thinks of new products, food seasoning and different things to try over Christmas and summer. She finds a great amount of enjoyment in her job. 

“Working with my team there’s always something to think about or how to be better,” Palombi-Long said. “Then, of course, it gives me a little place of my own country, it’s like a little place of mine that I can go in and be creative, it’s exciting.” 

Palombi-Long’s son, Alexander Palombi-Long is a junior at Sage Creek. He has worked at French Corner over the summer by helping to clean dishes and tables. 

“While it might seem like straightforward work, it gave me an inside look into the operations of the cafe,” Alexander said. “It helped me understand the importance of each role in keeping the business running smoothly. I also had the chance to interact with some of the customers and get a feel for the community that the cafe serves.” The cafe has a positive vibe that not only customers can treasure, but also employees. 

Yarely Arango, who works mainly in customer service at the Carlsbad Village French Corner, said, “We make sure everyone feels welcome and everyone doesn’t feel like they are being pressured to order anything.” 

Arango mentioned that employees tend to equally share jobs at the cafe. For example, when the cooks need support, employees are gladly there to help bring orders to customers. If anything in the cafe needs to be cleaned or dishes should be washed, employees will do whatever work has to be done. 

The cafe is filled with classic french decor, such as red chairs and miniature eiffel towers. Their menu is easily viewable for customers as well. (Photo by Jadyn Haid)

“I honestly love the environment, it is so nice and it’s just very friendly,” Arango said. “When people come in they feel like this is a nice place to eat cause of how well they’re treated.” 

Arango is one of many French Corner employees who genuinely care about the French Corner family and how they present themselves to customers. 

“I feel like it’s best to treat your customers like you know them personally because then you end up getting more of an interaction with them,” Arango said.

Sienna Holley, a first-time customer at French Corner, went to the cafe with some friends. “They have really good food and customer service,” Holley said. “The atmosphere is super cool; I like the music playing in the background and the decor because it makes you feel like you’re actually in Paris.” Holley ordered the classic éclair and mentioned that she will be coming back sometime soon for another one. 

Holley and her friends enjoyed their first time at French Corner. The cafe also has an outdoor area for sitting. (Photo By Jadyn Haid)

French Corner also offers catering for people who want to bring European food and culture to their events. Palombi-Long is passionate about French Corner and continuing to further the business in different possible directions. The French Corner team hopes to expand the business to more locations and explore various aspects of how French Corner could grow. 

Palombi-Long has considered having a French Corner location that would only serve coffee and crȇpes or starting a French Corner cooking class. She also thinks it would be beneficial to create a French Corner boutique that would sell prints, jewelry, and other French products. No matter what direction Palombi-Long decides on, she will keep authenticity and good products as her main focus. 

I have a lot of respect and admiration for how my mom has grown French Corner,” Alexander said. “Working there even for a brief period made me realize the hard work, dedication, and attention to detail that goes into running a successful cafe. Seeing her navigate challenges in the cafe successfully has been incredibly inspiring for me as well.” 

French Corner has a great impact on each human being it involves. Why only read about French Corner when their team welcomes you to visit one of their locations? San Diego residents and tourists visiting the area have the opportunity to taste real French food while speaking to kind employees. As the French say, bon appetit.

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