Chef Gerard Billebault was born in Paris to parents who owned a classic French Boulangerie & Patissier. In the tradition, Gerard's mother, Camille, and his sister, Martine, were the face of the shop, while Gerard and his brothers, Michel and Pierre, worked with their father, fabricating breads and sweets.
After training with his father up to the age of sixteen, Gerard headed off to study at a traditional French baking school. After performing his military service in France, Gerard followed a lifelong dream and immigrated to America, settling in Philadelphia. In the late 1970's he opened the very first traditional French Boulangerie in that city. Gerard continued to expand his skills, becoming the executive pastry chef at Philadelphia's world renowned restaurant, Le Bec Fin, under Master Chef, Georges Perrier.
Gerard's talent as both a pastry chef and Boulanger combine to create the delicious and beautifully executed sweets, savories and artisan breads available daily at Bonjour.
Gayle Brier Billebault
Gayle Brier Billebault is a Philadelphia native. A long career in advertising and marketing led to the opening of her own agency in a Delaware Avenue building, where as luck would have it, Gerard decided to open a production bakery. After weeks of being intrigued by the new, sweet smells emanating from behind the mysterious closed doors, Gayle finally met the magician behind the delectable scents. It didn't take long for their mutual appreciation of French food, good wine, and divine sweets to develop into a life together, filled with all of the things they love.
Bonjour shop staff
More than 15 years ago, Mika and I sat on the front porch of Bonjour and quickly came to the realization that Mika + Bonjour = a perfect match. Over the years, Mika has become more than a valued employee, she is the heart of Bonjour! If you come in daily, she knows what you would like before you do; if you are new to the shop, she will immediately make you feel like an old friend. Over the years we have been fortunate to have had a remarkable roster of part time "Bonjourettes." Some stay for months and some for years, and each has brought their own special "flavor" to Bonjour. Together, the sum has resulted in a unique experience for our customers.
andrea ward - pastry assistant
Andrea works very closely with Chef Gerard to execute his pastry, dessert, and cake visions. Her gift for creating beautiful and delicious desserts is outstanding. Recently, Andrea created a new addition to our dessert case; a yummy confection of genoise and layers of lemon and raspberry mousseline - beautiful to look at and even more delicious to taste.
Ben McDonald - 2nd year assistant baker
Ben is our newest addition to the kitchen team (he also happens to be our grandson), but in Chef Gerard's world that offers no special treatment. Ben is working side-by-side with Chef to learn the process of making delicious and original products.