It is very common for a website to have a “Meet the Family” page to introduce the owner of a store, to explain their background, and to share their hopes for the future of their business. Instead of being so formal in writing about the history of Pâtisserie Tillemont, I decided on something a little more personal. I want to invite you into the D’Angelo family to show you how much we care for Pâtisserie Tillemont and more importantly, how much we care for each other.
My name is George D’Angelo and I, along with my two brothers Benny and Joey, are the sons of Annette and Joe D’Angelo, proud owners of Pâtisserie Tillemont. For as long as I can remember, my father has been my main role model; I’ve always wanted to be just like him. Growing up, wherever my father would go, I’d usually be right beside him. It should come as no surprise that going to work with my dad was a regular occurrence. Saturdays were always our busiest day of the week. We would have to serve four or five reception halls every Saturday so that meant baking between 400 to 500 dozen paninis. Having to serve these halls such large quantities of bread was no easy task. My father’s alarm would go off at midnight; the words “sleeping in” were never in his vocabulary. When I’d hear his alarm go off, I’d jump out of bed, run to his room and ask if I could go with him. I was very young at the time so my father’s answer would always be the same: “Soon George, but not now.”
When my brothers and I were old enough, we began working at the bakery. Thinking back to my childhood, the most vivid memories I have take place at Pâtisserie Tillemont. I remember being seven or eight years old, standing on a chair in front of the cash register, entering prices as my mom told me much change to give back to the customers. I felt so proud to be a part of our family business. My parents never cared if I made a mistake because they knew that the experience was shaping me into the man I am today. You see, Pâtisserie Tillemont is not just a business, it is our home. This is the place where my brothers and I learned the meaning of hard work, sacrifice, and family. We all have our specific roles and we all need to work together to make things run smoothly.
Growing up, I mostly worked in the storefront with my mom. After school, I would get on the 45 bus heading straight to work, where I would stay until closing time. I loved serving and getting to know all of our loyal customers, some of which I still see today. At the age of 13, I was going in to work almost every day after school. Even on Saturdays, you would see me at Pâtisserie Tillemont, helping my dad or my brother deliver countless orders of bread and cakes all around the city. My mom is also an exceptionally hard worker. Every day she had to wake up early, get us ready for school, go to work, come home, cook and clean for us three boys and my father…then do it all again the next day. Not once did she ever complain. No one ever questioned his or her role in the business or having to help out, it was just something we all had to do…something we continue to do.
Looking back, I remember a particular Friday night when my family received two tickets to watch the Montreal Expos play at the Olympic Stadium. My brothers were not able to take me so my Dad, seeing my disappointment, decided to do the honors. That night when we got home at around 11pm, I headed straight to bed, exhausted from the all the excitement; my dad however, couldn’t. He had to go to work. He had worked all day, taken me to the baseball game, then dropped me off at home while he went back to work another 14 hour shift. As a child I didn’t realise what that meant, I was just excited to go to the game.
Joey has been working at Pâtisserie Tillemont for the longest out of the three sons. At a very young age, he decided that working at the bakery would be his future. Joey and my father have a lot in common. They have been successful through hard work, perseverance, and sacrifice as they are both self-taught workers, with no previous knowledge in their trades. Now Head Pastry Chef at Pâtisserie Tillemont, Joey has taken over the pastry/cake department and has turned it into what you see today, allowing our family business to offer the most appealing and delicious desserts for all occasions. We love making any event a huge success with our personalised fondant cakes …sure to be the talk of the party. In my opinion, this sums up our family-run business which has been open since 1974. Pâtisserie Tillemont represents a Montreal landmark of hard work, dedication, quality, and passion provided by my family, the D’Angelo family, and our great team.
**** Huge Thank you to Patrizia from Magnolia Photo Studio for taking these amazing pictures, she is a great photographer and even better friend, check out her Facebook page at Magnolia Photo Studio ****