When Patrick Leon Esquerré came to America he brought the tastes of the French countryside with him. He grew up in the Loire Valley region of post World War II France, where meal times revolved around homegrown, hand-prepared food, friends, family, and heartfelt conversation. Patrick missed the joys of his hometown. He yearned for the aroma of fresh-baked baguettes and lingering over an espresso at the corner café. So he decided to create his own.
With little else besides his boundless enthusiasm and charming broken English, Patrick began to bring his vision to life. With the advice and support of Stanley Marcus, of Neiman Marcus fame, la Madeleine was born. Our first la Madeleine bakery, or boulangerie, opened in February 1983 on Mockingbird Lane in the heart of Dallas, next door to Southern Methodist University. Inspired by his mother’s cooking, Patrick insisted on maintaining the integrity of French cuisine by using fresh ingredients and recipes that have been passed from one generation to the next. That tradition and integrity continues today.
With the support and encouragement of our guests, la Madeleine expanded from a simple French bakery and boulangerie to a café and neighborhood gathering place for all to see, be seen, and enjoy a variety of classic country French fare.
Now, with more than 70 locations and growing, Patrick’s dream of bringing the tastes of the French countryside to America continues.