Sadness as Wymondham food firm closes

David Gauthier, Christine Bakewell and Hilary Gauthier

David Gauthier, Christine Bakewell and Hilary Gauthier - Credit: Archant

A Wymondham businesswoman has thanked customers for their 'warmth and kindness' after her speciality food firm closed last week.

Gauthier's, which provided Parisian baked goods, based in Oaktree Business park, near Wymondham Railway Station, was set up by husband and wife David and Hilary Gauthier in November 2011.

Mr Gauthier trained as a chef in Paris and Mrs Gauthier studied at Slough College and worked at many country house hotels across England and the Pink Beach club in Bermuda. The business was also backed by a third partner, Christine Bakewell.

The couple lived in Normandy for 16 years where they ran an outside catering company.

Mrs Gauthier, who lives in Wreningham, said: 'Along the way we found great frozen products which were made in Paris

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'We felt there was a gap in the market for chefs who sometimes needed pastry cases, baguettes and macarons.'

The firm supplied some of the county's top restaurants including Brasted's, The Hoste Arms, and The Sandringham Estate in Norwich.

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'The spring of 2012 was great for us. We made a lot of contacts and really started building the business.

'Parisian flour baguettes sold well. They use a different type of flour in France.'

But following a cold winter, sales slumped and profits fell.

Mrs Gauthier, a mother of two, said: 'Between December and April it was so quiet. People were not going out and as a result our customers weren't ordering as much from us.

'Even though we are busy during the summer, we realised we couldn't get through another winter. We decided we had to stop. We tried our best.

'I would like to thank our customers, they have been wonderful. We have been to some of the best places and have met the best people.

'Running this business has been a great experience but we had one or two disappointments which affected us.'

The business closed its doors for the final time last week and Mrs Gauthier said she carries nothing but happy memories.

'We have been met by people in Norfolk with warmth and kindness. We take many positives from our experience.

'We plan to stay in Norfolk but David will be spending his time between Norfolk and France as he expands his shooting business,' she added.

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