Tale of 2 Bakeries: Eclair

“I love cookies: I just think the simplicity and the rustic approach to doing cookies is really cathartic, kind of like doing bread…and I love eating cookies more than anything”
-Jeremy Davenport, Owner Eclair Bakery

The second of two blog posts dedicated to telling the tale of two bakeries, both hailing from Arroyo Grande and each full of what it takes to succeed in the biz.

Things Jeremy Davenport likes: the Northern Coast, baking bread, surfing. So it’s no wonder he loves living in Los Osos and fantasizes about one day opening up a little bread bakery there. With the frequent foggy days along the back bay, the setting is perfect for early mornings mixing dough, scaling, shaping, letting it rise, and turning out a great end product. Jeremy can’t see himself doing anything different. And after eight years of owning his own bakery, he still is passionate about his craft.

Jeremy just acquired this Pendleton sweater from our store the other week, he'd had his eye on it for a while!
Jeremy bought Eclair Bakery back in 2006, but both him and the shop have prior lives to speak of. Eclair originally began in Pismo back in 1977, later in 2003 establishing its current space in Arroyo Grande’s Village. Getting his start at a wholesale bread bakery in San Luis Obispo while working at Boo Boo Records, Jeremy worked his way up to lead baker as his interest in the industry rose. A series of events then brought him to the Culinary Institute in San Francisco: visiting friends who attended the school, meeting a recent Cal Poly grad-now his wife-moving up to the Bay Area, along with his love for the city. He enrolled in the general program, but he admits: “I always gravitated towards the baking & pastry side of things: I loved going and looking at the wedding cakes that the students were producing and I even sat in on some evening classes- snuck in to hang out and take notes.” Simultaneously working at a old San Francisco staple in North Beach, Moose's, Jeremy fed his growing craft, gaining experience with plated, composed desserts.

Upon graduating, he moved back to the Central Coast and began apprenticing at Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara. Here, he worked with amazing chefs and guest chefs learning new techniques while composing desserts for the three restaurants on site, big banquet dinners and for weddings. He kept scouting places to call his own, and when Eclair Bakery went up for sale he tried to purchase it, this first attempt falling through. Still knowing he wanted to do something on his own and tired of the long commute between San Luis and Santa Barbara, Jeremy waited for his opportunity working at a winery in Paso Robles. He finally got the call: the owner of Eclair was ready to sell, to Jeremy.

The bakery, under Jeremy’s hand, not only shares its incredible pastries with its customers but also shares its kitchen space with dabbling bakers in pursuit of their craft. If you remember from our last post, Kelli first launched her business using Eclair’s space, and others like Kirsten Finberg of Little Red Hen Bread first began working here. This biz is all heart, Jeremy’s passion for baking reflects in his motivation to foster creativity and experimentation, inspiring and being inspired: 

“I’ve always loved the idea of having people come in. I was given a really great opportunity, so to give other people that opportunity is really important to me, because I know how good it feels, I’d like to pass that on, too…it’s the community thing, too, not being a jerk.”

One bite of anything from Eclair and you will surely agree: Jeremy is an expert at what he does. But he still longs to learn more, take more specialized courses, and absorb from those around him and other industry aces. His main influences are Chad Robertson of Tartine Bakery and Culinary Artistry, a book full of vignettes from different top chefs. Instagram also proves handy in seeing what other shops are producing outside of this area, like G&B Coffee and Valerie Confections. Likely he is, and will be, as influential as the greats he looks up to now. We cannot wait to see what he comes up with next (there is talk of chicken pot pies and savory items joining the menu, stay tuned)!
The table runner (bottom right) is a purchase from Ruby Rose!
You can visit Eclair Bakery any day of the week:
Tuesday-Friday: 8-4:30
Saturday: 9-4
Sunday: 9-2

OR get his fresh baked bread Fridays at Rutiz Farms and on Saturday Farmers’ Market in AG
OR on Thursdays check out his booth equipped with a mini donut maker-turning out mouthwatering morsels at Farmers’ Market

Eclair is stuffed with amazing pastries like his ding dong cupcakes-chocolate cake with cream, then dipped in chocolate- and his vegan black & blue cookies. Jeremy also creates custom cakes for birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings. Stop by his shop or give him a call for more information.