Meet Pierre-Yves Miton and Petite Bretagne. This is a story of taking a chance, following one’s passions, and persevering with much heart and hard work. The small bakery /café at the bottom of Mamaroneck Avenue serves traditional French and Breton food. It is operated by Pierre, husband of Florence and father to Fanny and Josephine. Pierre is a baker, welcoming host, entrepreneur, and striped-clad neighbor in our community. The stripes harken back to his work in the naval defense field as well as to the maritime heritage in the French seaside towns of his youth.
Petite Bretagne is named for the region home to Pierre and his wife, along the coastal northwest of France. They acquired it in 2021 from an existing café when the owner moved from the area. “I went there often and had gotten to know the owner well. When she told me about her plans, I was thrilled to take over,” says Pierre. A human resource professional his entire career, his background in restaurateuring could be traced only to hobby baking and a week-long crepe-making class that his wife had gifted him for his fortieth birthday. “We had moved from Paris when Florence accepted a position at the French American School. I planned to continue my career, but I became a café owner!”
“Everything about the decision to open this spot was right,” he assures. “I have always dreamed of making a living from cooking and being with people is an extension of that.” However, he faced enormous challenges from the start. “Our opening was planned the day after Hurricane Ida hit; our home in the Village became a lake and the café had significant flooding.” Residual effects from the pandemic also meant that people were dining out less. “Resilience may be at the top of my most important qualities.”
The allure of buckwheat galettes and delicate choux is matched by Pierre’s warmth – offering an oasis of simple luxury during these trying times. “We are doing well. But the best surprise is that seventy percent of our guests are from outside the French community.” Loyal customers come daily to enjoy sweet or savory crepes, pastries, quiches, salted butter caramel, or Far Breton. “Sometimes they come just to practice the language they learned long ago. I love it!”
During soccer season, Pierre removes tables and sets up a television screen for standing-room-only fans to congregate. “We have fit between 30-35 in this space. It’s great to see passers-by watching the game with us from the street.” This September, France hosts the Rugby World Cup, and the host country is currently favored to win. “We look forward to bringing people together to celebrate sport and good food.”
Expansion plans for the business include a collaboration with Pierre’s friend and owner of OCabanon, a family-run French kitchen in Manhattan. “We hope to start catering and will soon open a patio on the sidewalk.”
Stop by for a cappuccino (wink to his Italian friends) and croissant or join a weekend pastry tasting of choux made by Dina Glore-Borgers. Browse a nicely curated selection of French groceries, Haribo candies, and take-out accompaniments for picnics or wine tastings. Tuesday-Friday, 8 am-4 pm. Weekends 8 am-1 pm, and afternoons weather permitting. 152 Mamaroneck Avenue.