OC’s Bread and Butter
Written By: Susan Krupa A Taste of Europe at Pandor Bakery
Photographed By: Areli Gonzalez
When you have a craving for a pain au chocolat and cappuccino, Pandor Bakery is the place to go. They’re baking croissants, pastries and all things delicious 24/7, ensuring that the croissant you bite into is freshly made. The same approach is taken when it comes to catering where everything is prepared immediately before delivery to ensure that your food is going directly from their kitchen to your table. We stepped back into their kitchen to chat with Store and Catering Manager Rad Taboubi and his team to find out how a small bakery became one of the most successful caterers in Orange County.
Question: How is what you do for the catering menu different than what you do for the store?
Rad Taboubi: The catering menu is mostly for groups like offices and schools, so we do some things differently. For example, we do crêpes à la minute on site.
Q: How did the catering side of the business start?
RT: My boss, [Owner Tiffany Sepetjian] and I talked and after I had worked for her for about six months, we started to talk about it and sat down and created a nice menu with a lot of different items. And then we just started. To succeed in catering, we decided we would have to be more than generous. So if you tell me you need a tray of 10 sandwiches, I’ll bring you a tray of 14 sandwiches. Better more than less is what I think. And it’s been like three years now and I’ve never had a complaint.
Q: What are your best selling items?
RT: When it comes to sweets, there is the Oh My God. It’s something special. When it was first made, we had never tried it before the owners, Tiffany Sepetjian, sent us a tray that she had created and made. And we were busy that day so we started sampling it and people kept saying, “Oh, my God, oh, my God.” So when we were trying to decide on a name, I said if that’s what everyone is saying then that should be the name. Then there is the chocolate almond croissant which is my favorite; it’s really good. For savory items, we have a lot – we have quiches and sandwiches, but personally, I like the smoked salmon tartine. It’s an open-faced sandwich with smoked salmon on the top.
Q: What is one kitchen tool or item you have that you could not do your job without?
RT: Come here, I’ll show you. It’s this man: Javier, the cook. It’s teamwork. Sometimes I call him at midnight and tell him I’ll be here at 6:00, 6:30 and he’ll be here before me with the stuff already done. Without this team, we can’t do any of this work.
Q: What do you eat at home?
RT: If I tell you what I eat for breakfast on my day off, you will laugh. It’s Jack in the Box. We make the best breakfast here, and I work six days a week. So on the day off, I want to eat a bunch of junk.
Q: How would you describe the cuisine of the restaurant?
RT: Healthy, good quality and not pricey. I would call it Mediterranean. It’s not all French, so we aren’t limited. We have French items, Italian items, Spanish items, Greek, Moroccan. The best food comes from the Mediterranean and all the countries there have good food. If we limited ourselves to just one country’s cuisine, you’d be stuck with just pizza or pasta with Italy or bouillabaisse if you are French or tapas in Spain. But since we have Mediterranean food, we can serve a wider variety of food.
Westcliff Plaza Shopping Center
1126 A Irvine Ave
Newport Beach, CA 92660