CORPUS CHRISTI -"Caller times" — It wasn’t a stretch for Sophie Garnier to open her own gourmet shop two years ago.
Years of friends and family asking her to cook for celebrations and gatherings made it an obvious step, she said.
Garnier and her husband, Laurent, plan next week to open their third store and second gourmet shop, Bonn A-Petit, 817 Everhart Road, Suite C, next to Anthony’s Aveda Concept Salon on Everhart Road. The first two shops, Garnier Design and Garnier Gourmet Kitchen, are in Port Aransas.
Bonn A-Petit offers gourmet gadgets, dishware and prepared meals that can be heated at home. Garnier describes her new store as a gourmet convenience store.
“We prepare the food at our Port Aransas shop, vacuum seal it and freeze it for seven days,” Garnier said. “Everything can be reheated in the microwave after defrosting. The packing helps seal in the flavor, prevents freezer burn and keeps the food fresh when you reheat it.”
Items include tomato basil, broccoli and southwestern soups; lasagna, pastas, fried rice, shepherd’s pie and quiches; and cakes, pies, baguettes and artisan breads, such as black olive and pecan/raisin. Entrees, which has two servings, average about $8.
After the success of their gourmet shop in Port Aransas, Garnier said it was time to enter the market in Corpus Christi, where she had some established clients. The spot on Everhart Road, near Staples Street, is in a good neighborhood, has great traffic and the salon next door offers word-of-mouth advertising, she said.
“I think the concept would appeal to working women in Corpus Christi who want to give their families a home-cooked meal but don’t have the time to spend in the kitchen,” she said. “These are meals which are healthier than store bought because we go the extra mile to keep the customers’ needs in mind.”
Garnier uses lean meat, free-range chicken when she can, turkey bacon, olive oil instead of margarine and gets as many ingredients as she can from an Alice farm. The family recipes come her mother and grandmother, she said.
“My mom was a chef in Austin and Houston and I learned how to can from my grandmother,” Garnier said. “It’s a lot of southern French cuisine but also some of my favorites.”