Where Crêpes and Cheese Unite
Our Fall 2015 Dairy Issue’s Back of the House column focuses on the family-owned and -operated restaurant Simply Crêpes, which has locations in Pittsford and Canandaigua, and shows no signs of slowing growth.
For many, the thought of crêpes evokes the streets of Paris. For the Héroux family, it evokes Tokyo, Japan. In the late 1990s, Pierre Héroux uprooted his family from Rochester to Tokyo, where working for Bausch & Lomb he served as the head of finance and operations for Japan and Korea. While living there, Pierre and his family encountered street crêperies that sold crêpes with fresh fruit and ice cream. At the turn of the millennium, the Héroux family returned to the Rochester area from Tokyo, and Pierre and his wife Karen were determined to start a new chapter in their lives. “My parents decided to open their own business, and they wanted to do something they were passionate about,” says their daughter Nicole. “My father travelled a lot when we were younger, but he always made a point on Sunday mornings to make us these big, extravagant breakfasts with crêpes and everything.”
Driven by a passion for crêpes—born to French Canadian parents, Pierre made his first crêpe at the age of 12 with the help of his father—and their recollections of the delicious crêpes they ate in Tokyo, Pierre and Karen decided to open a crêperie. In 2003, they debuted their first Simply Crêpes location at Pittsford’s Schoen Place along the Erie Canal, while the second Simple Crêpes location opened in December 2007 in Canandaigua.
The restaurant makes a point to source menu ingredients from local businesses whenever possible. Much of their dairy comes from Syracuse’s Byrne Dairy (their milk is part of the crêpe batter), while their goat cheese is from Interlaken’s Lively Run and cheese curds are sourced from Rock Stream’s Shtayburne Farms. “We believe it’s important to keep the money local,” Nicole explains.