Opera Pastries and Coffee
Those hungry for a taste of France have a new destination to try in downtown Bellingham. Opera, a French pastry and coffee shop, officially opened its doors on April 1. The bakery features an array of classic French pastries baked in-house daily.
Opera’s display case is filled with traditional treats, like flaky golden croissants and layered opera cake, alongside more inventive creations, such as bright pink strawberry éclairs. To create each batch, chefs combine dough from the prestigious Lenotre in Paris with local ingredients like Washington state berries. The tarts, topped with pears or blueberries, are particularly delicious. The bakery also serves homemade quiche, croques, and baguettes for the hungrier among us. Baked goods range from $3–5, while sandwiches are around $8.
The small bakery is part of a big goal. Creator and head chef Eric Truglas, a 30-year veteran of the food industry and a certified French master chef, sought to create a French quarter in Bellingham when he moved to the area a few years ago.
He began by opening EAT Restaurant and Bar on Cornwall Avenue, an establishment serving American farm-to-table cuisine with a French twist. When planning the bakery just up the street, Truglas and his business partner Jean Luc Cornet desired something totally French.
They began by naming the shop Opera — a word that references both the Opera of Paris and opera cakes, both ubiquitous in French culture. Descending the stairs into the shop feels like a walk into a Parisian subway station. Glossy white tiles line the wall behind the display case beneath a blue subway sign that reads “Opera.” There’s even a huge, black and white image of the Opera of Paris on the wall near the entrance.
The menu has undergone some tweaks in the first few months as the shop finds its stride, Truglas said. Even so, Truglas and Cornet are already looking to the future. The pair plan to reopen EAT during lunch hours this upcoming fall, and are looking to expand the market for their baked goods.
“We already have big plans,” Cornet said.