Chef-Owned Houston Croissant Shop in Midtown Keeps it Fresh

Traditional croissants at Love Croissants in midtown Houston

 

With its counter adorned in pastel pink tiles and warm greetings from hardworking staff, Love Croissants, located within Weights + Measures in Midtown at 2808 Caroline, feels more like a gift shop with food presents ready to be picked up. As far as the name goes, it’s self-explanatory: Love Croissants is a neighborhood bakery specializing in European and creative examples of the beloved pastry. 

Love Croissants keeps a traditional French bakery schedule with only three morning bake times: 7, 9, and 11 a.m. Each morning, the bakery starts with ten items on the menu, including butter croissants, pain au chocolat, Ham & Asiago, Twice-Baked Almond Cardamom, Crolache, Blueberry Lemon Lime Tart, mini croissants, Turkey Goat Cheese, Cruffin

The running joke is that as items sell out, the menu shrinks and slowly forces Love Croissants into a drip coffee stand. 

A selection of Love Croissants' offerings
A selection of Love Croissants’ offerings. Photo by Gonzalo Picón Tucci.

How Croissants Became a Chef’s Passion 

As the 14-year-old star of Yo, Cocinero (I, Cook), on the El Gourmet channel, native Venezuelan Omar Pereney was already a famous prodigy chef when he got to Houston. One of the most recognized faces in Latin America’s culinary scene, he started working professionally at 11. At age 16, he opened his first establishment, Dalai Restaurant & Lounge, in Caracas. At 18 years old, he became a chef instructor at Le Cordon Bleu in Cancun.

After relocating to Houston, at only 20 years old, Pereney became executive chef at Peska Seafood Culture. After it closed, during some of the final months of President George H.W. Bush’s life, Pereney quietly served as his private chef. After the President’s passing, Pereney consulted for several Houston restaurants with A’La Carte Foodservice Consulting Group and his company, Culinary Matters.

Starting to face burnout, Pereney left food consulting to focus on himself. He started making croissants as a therapeutic hobby to fill in the sense of deprivation. Like others who have felt similarly and turned their hobbies into lucrative businesses, he turned his passionate experiment into Love Croissants. He soon signed up for the Urban Farmer market, where his pastries began to gain popularity. 

A Croissant Army 

Love Croissants is not only Pereney’s brainchild — it’s also a local pastry training program. None of his kitchen crew has more than five months of pastry-making experience. By streamlining the laborious pastry-making process, he had each member focusing on a single task and mastering it. It could be dough-making, fermentation, conditioning butter, lamination, shaping, proofing, or baking. They can switch positions and acquire new techniques if they wish. He hopes they will master every step to making a good croissant and graduate from Love Croissants. “The only way to make good croissants is by making a lot of them,” said Pereney.

Affordable Luxury — but With a Time Limit 

Croissants are well-loved for their flaky texture and buttery taste. Pereney insisted on sourcing only butter made in the traditional French method with 83% butterfat and low moisture for a creamy profile. There is something almost altruistic about Pereney’s belief in producing affordable luxury in the form of well-executed croissants. However, a croissant is only of top quality when it’s fresh. When a croissant comes out of the oven, it’s this [glorious] thing, but after four hours, it’s just bread,” he says. 

Pereney says that he’s not interested in chasing the spotlight or for Love Croissants to become a trendy spot. This croissanterie has only one mission — delivering freshly made croissants into peoples’ hands. Pereney envisions his shop as one where people will line up and wait for the freshest pastry coming straight out of the oven. 

Love Croissants is open Wednesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.  

Comments (2)

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  • November 29, 2023 at 5:32 amRhonda Fiot

    November 2023
    I see it is now open on Tuesdays also.
    Best tasting croissants in Houston!

    Reply
    • November 29, 2023 at 11:45 amPhaedra Cook

      Thanks for the update, eagle-eyed reader!

      Reply