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Stephanie Massouda paints the walls of her new bakery, Petite Patisserie, at 108 North Main St. on Oct 8. Her hope is to open in December.

A little bit of France is coming to downtown Kokomo.

French bakery Petite Patisserie is gearing up for a December opening, bringing freshly made croissants, artisanal bread, pastries, salads, soups, coffee and sandwiches to the square.

“There’s going to be a heavy emphasis on really quality ingredients,” owner Stephanie Massouda said. “There’s nothing really like us around here. If you want bread, you have to go to the supermarket or if you’re feeling really fancy you can go to Panera. But even their breads come frozen. We’re doing everything in house. We’ll make it fresh every day.”

Massouda is hard at work painting and prepping the building for the bakery, soon to be operating at 108 N. Main St.

The bakery will initially cater to the morning and lunch crowd, but there are plans to open a cocktail lounge in the building’s south side in a year or so and begin serving high-end bar snacks, cocktails, brunch and high tea in the evening hours.

A native of rural North Carolina, Massouda was taught at a young age by her parents how to cook and bake.

“It’s something I’ve loved for a very long time,” she said.

So, naturally, opening a bakery has long been a dream for her, but faced with the reality that bakers often don’t make a lot of money, she got her college degree and worked in food management for nearly a decade before moving to Howard County with her husband.

Motivated in part by the city’s downtown revitalization efforts, falling in love with the businesses’ current space and her mother-in-law’s prodding, Massouda decided it was “now or never” to open her own bakery.

“We’re really on board with the city’s revitalization projects,” she said. “I grew up in a small town in the south where the town really did make this huge push to bring back Main Street. And it worked, and now it’s the place to go for boutiques and niche food places. It’s just a nice place to go and meet friends. We want to be a part of that in Kokomo.”

Tyler Juranovich can be reached at 765-454-8577, by email at tyler.juranovich@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at @tylerjuranovich

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