Patisserie Valerie all started with Theophile Vermeirsch (Theo) who was born in Antwerp in 1898.
He first came to London with his family as refugees from Belgium in the First World War, working as a pastry chef. The family returned to Belgium in 1918, and in 1922 theo married Esther Van Gyseghem, who was born in 1900 in Oostende. Together they returned to London and opened a Belgian patisserie in 1926 on the corner of Dean Street and Old Compton Street in London’s Soho, calling it “Patisserie Valerie”. Theo ran the bakery while Esther looked after the finances and front of house. Esther was fondly referred to as “Madame Valerie” by her customers.
They were joined in the early thirties by Albert Joseph (Joe) Vermeirsch, Theo’s brother. He was born in London in 1915 and worked with Theo until he joined the British army at the start of the Second World War. In 1941 the patisserie was bombed but reopened in Old Compton Street soon after. Joe returned to the bakery at the end of the war.
Sadly, Theo died in 1947 and Esther continued to run the business with Joe and her brother, Albert van Gyseghem. They sold the patisserie in 1965 and Esther retired. She died in 1975.
Nearly 100 years on and Patisserie Valerie now has 67 stores throughout the UK, with a central bakery in Birmingham.
One of the key factors of their success has been building a strong reputation based on the quality of their lovingly handmade cakes and patisserie, using only the freshest ingredients and traditional baking methods.
From stunning whole cakes, to delicate patisserie to PV’s famous Afternoon Teas, they have the perfect range of products to delight customers both old and new.
Today, their mission is to create memorable experiences and play a part in the journey of customer’s lives.
8 The Exchange
T: 0115 9584094