Hof Sucrée: Hof Kelsten’s big little sister

Hof Sucrée Hof Sucrée Hof Sucrée Hof Sucrée Hof Sucrée Hof Sucrée Hof Sucrée Hof Sucrée Hof Sucrée
  • Hof Sucrée

  • 400 Avenue Atlantic Montreal H2V 1A5
  • Monday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Thursday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Friday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Saturday: Closed
    Sunday: Closed
  • Coffee shop Bakery

Hof Sucrée is the offspring of Jeffrey Finkelstein, owner of celebrated Montreal bakery Hof Kelsten, and long time collaborator pastry chef Suyin Wong.

“Hof” was the nickname Jeffrey’s friends gave him as a kid. “Su” simply stands for Suyin; and finally, “crée” symbolizes their creativity, feminized because Hof Sucrée is mainly the latter’s playground, while the former keeps his focus on the bakery.

Born in Singapore, Suyin grew up in Vancouver. She initially started a career in finance before making a 180° turn towards cooking. She learned the art of pastry (and of the French language) in Paris before settling in Montreal a little over a decade ago. She joined the Hof Kelsten team a few months after its opening. “Jeff hired me to create the viennoiseries. We did all that together,” she confides.

Hof Kelsten’s Sweeter Side

The first iteration of Hof Sucrée was born in 2019 at Time Out Market Montreal. The concept showcased the sweet side of Hof Kelsten, namely their delicious viennoiseries and pastries: croissants, pains au chocolat, chocolate cookies, danishes, rugelach (a stuffed pastry originating from Poland), and of course, the signature babka, a decadent chocolate braided brioche, one of the Hebrew specialties that have earned the bakery its reputation.

Hof Sucrée now has permanent location on the ground floor of 400 Atlantic in Outremont. The design, executed by Sid Lee Architecture in collaboration with the co-owners, aims to be a more feminine version of Hof Kelsten. “I love what Jeff did with Hof Kelsten. I wanted to do that, but pink,” Suyin says with a laugh.

The faded pink ceramics add a touch of softness to the industrial architecture of the space, with its high concrete ceilings and large windows. The iconic orange boxes of the bakery are lined up behind the counter, where one can order the delicious viennoiseries made on site or some loaves and baguettes, which are still baked on Saint-Laurent Boulevard.

At lunchtime, Hof Sucrée offers a light menu of soups, salads, sandwiches. Some Hof Kelsten classics may occasionally appear, like the brisket bun and the gravlax sandwich. The coffee comes from Parlor Coffee in Brooklyn.

Party in the front, business in the back

But that’s just the gravy on top, notes Jeffrey. Behind the café is a large production facility, where Suyin and a team of about a dozen pastry chefs prepare orders of viennoiseries for several of the best coffee shops across the city, including In Gamba, Myriade, Crew Collective, Le Petit Dep, and Dispatch, in addition to Lufa Farms baskets, which also offer their products.

Before the team moved here last December, everything was made in the tiny kitchen at Hof Kelsten, pastry, bread and all. “It was insane. We kept stepping on each others’ toes,” recalls the pastry chef. From the dining area, you can now watch the team at work in their sparkling new pink kitchen through a series of portholes in the walls.

“The space is really beautiful, front and back,” Suyin says proudly.

For now, Hof Sucrée is open on weekdays from 8 AM to 5 PM, but if all goes well, it will welcome customers for weekend brunch starting in the fall.

Bon appétit!

Photography by Mikael Lebleu

From the magazine

Restaurants open on Tuesdays

Finding a restaurant open on Tuesdays is becoming challenging. Some restaurants choose to take a break at the beginning of the week.