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Grand Opening of Gateau on Main

by | Jan 8, 2019 | Local Businesses, News, Top Left Box

Grand Opening of Gateau on Main! Gateau Proprietor Tara Ragan wields the big scissors for a group shot with Mayor Rusty Knox, welcoming the dessert bar to downtown Davidson. (Bill Giduz photo)

Well-wishers and pastry fans gathered in the center of downtown Tuesday afternoon for the grand opening of Tara Ragan’s “Gateau on Main” bakery and dessert bar.

Executive chef Joleen Usher and Gateau proprietor Tara Ragan. (Bill Giduz photo)

Ragan was wearing a t-shirt printed with the words “Intentional,” “Heartfelt” and “Handcrafted,” which she explained represent the pillars of her business philosophy. Ragan followed a job in NASCAR to Davidson in 2009 and fell in love with the town immediately. She left NASCAR to get involved in consulting with non-profit groups.

But she kept her eyes open for another opportunity and found it when the Main Street Sweet Shop vacated the 700-square-foot premises that Gateau (French for “cake”) has re-inhabited.

Ragan said that Davidson is becoming a robust foodie destination, but she recognized that no restaurants focused on dessert. She said Gateau intends to fill that gap. “You can have a meal at one of the restaurants, then top off your evening with something sweet, a glass of wine, or a cup of coffee. It seems like a natural evolution for dining in Davidson,” she said.

Gateau’s small 700-square footprint is divided between display and retail in the front, with small tables providing indoor seating for 10. Additional seating will be available on the porch and patio.

Executive chef Joleen Usher with one of her creations. (Bill Giduz photo)

The staff of six-to-10 employees includes executive chef Joleen Usher, who was a baker for four years at Amelie’s in Charlotte. All baked goods are homemade and fresh daily.

Ragan said the store generally closes an hour after downtown restaurants close, so that diners can extend their outings to include a  special, leisurely dessert. Gateau will be open every day except Monday. Hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday; 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday; and 9 to 9 on Sunday.

Prices range from $1.05 for small croissants, to $6 for cakes and tartes. Others of the 15 or so items for sale include madeleines, cream puffs, chocolate cannoli, three berry tart, brown-butter pecan Danish, and crème brule gateau. Wine, cheese, and coffee are also available.

Gateau employee Genelle Chapman at the cash register with the store’s philosophy displayed on the wall behind her. (Bill Giduz photo)



Bill Giduz

Bill Giduz was the son who followed his father’s footsteps into journalism. He has been involved his entire life with news and photography in schools he attended and jobs he’s held. He believes now that he’s got a few good years left to devote to The News of Davidson.

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