Languages galore at this Algerian baker’s French pastry shop
Name: Kamel Mahfoudia Age: 45 Position: Proprietor, French Confection Job description: I am the founder and owner of a new patisserie (French pastry shop) called French Confection, located at 1 Wilson St. (at James Street North). How did you come to be in this job?
I have always loved baking, and I know traditional French and Algerian baking. I worked in a bakery in Paris, and I have also owned several types of businesses. When I moved to Hamilton last year, I saw an opportunity. What gets you up in the morning? I literally get up in the morning to bake! I love baking for my customers. Some of the customers come early so that they can get my croissants while they are still warm. Lessons learned?
I have been in Hamilton just over a year and I have found people here to be welcoming and kind, despite my limited English. I now am actively working on my English, including taking classes at St. Charles Adult and Continuing Education.
Roots: Transplant. I was born in Algeria and grew up close to the sea and the beach, where my mother taught me to bake. I moved to Spain and later to Paris, where I learned a lot before finally moving to Canada. I speak French, Spanish, Catalon, Arabic and now English.
Recent social media post(s): Mint can improve focus and make you feel more centred, enjoy our refreshing mint tea next time you stop by for a treat. #OuiHamOnt
Contacts: Frenchconfection2017@gmail.com; facebook.com/FrenchConfection
Favourite place in Hamilton: I really love Caledonia, where I am living with my cousin. It is peaceful and relaxing to be in the countryside at the end of each day.
What would make Hamilton a better city: Hamilton and its people are very warm and welcoming. I would love to see more outdoor seating and more of a café culture.
What’s next for you? I hope to be the best and biggest provider of French pastries to Hamiltonians, and to provide a gathering place for people to enjoy each other’s company.
This feature was co-ordinated by the Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council (HIPC), Global Hamilton and Workforce Planning Hamilton to highlight professionals from a diversity of backgrounds. If you know an immigrant professional or entrepreneur who would make a good candidate for this series, contact Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kamel Mahfoudia, 45, is the proprietor of French Confection, a new bakery downtown at Wilson Street and James Street North.