Belleville

Map & Menu Belleville Bakery Tour - Portland, ME

Chris & Amy’s early years of marriage read like a baker’s dream – after Chris left his job at the State Department, the two were married on an island in Amy’s home state of Maine, and then darted off to Paris to study at Le Cordon Bleu and apprentice as traditional French bakers. They returned to Washington, D.C. where Chris continued to work in bakeries around the city before opening Hot Hot Bakery, a mobile food cart bakery, in Arlington, VA. When they started to look for places to raise a family and open the bakery of their dreams, Portland seemed like a natural fit. After years of hard work towards this shared dream, Chris & Amy returned to her hometown to start their new venture together, Belleville.

Set on the top of Munjoy Hill in a well-lit, historic building in Portland’s East End, Belleville is the quintessential neighborhood bakery. In their own words, Chris and Amy describe Belleville as a place that “serves the food we like to eat – what we crave on the weekends and what we search for when we travel to new cities.” In the morning, the Belleville counters are filled with a smattering of rotating French pastries, including all types of sweet and savory croissants, sticky buns, and almond toasts. Slabs of Roman-style pizza (think choices like pickled hot pepper & salami and prosciutto arugula) and various sandwiches are set out a few hours later for the lunch crowd, as are the salted chocolate chip cookies and other sweet treats and breads to take home.

Having treated ourselves to a fair share of the offerings at Belleville, it’s no surprise to us that in the short few months since Chris & Amy opened in late October, the corner bakery has already garnered some well-deserved attention from the staff at Bon Appetit. Like a lot of our favorite restaurants and go-to eateries these days, Chris & Amy utilize their social accounts in the best, most tantalizing of ways. We find ourselves in constant temptation to cross the bridge into town when scrolling through the photos Belleville shares on their Instagram account. If we lived on the peninsula, I have a feeling it would be an everyday struggle not to swing by Belleville for a cup of Tandem coffee and a pain au chocolat in the morning, or a slice of hot pepper & salami pizza in the afternoon.

Map & Menu Belleville Bakery Tour - Portland, ME

Map & Menu Belleville Bakery Tour - Portland, ME
“We both love clean, modern design and we did all the interior design ourselves… pulling inspiration from travels and other places we’ve lived,” the couple says of the Belleville space. “We definitely tried to take a modern approach on Art Deco and a diamond theme kept emerging in the finishing choices we were making.” To develop the brand and the space, Amy and Chris collaborated with Polygraph Creative in DC and Dextrous Creative in Portland. The tile is from Cement Tile Shop.

Map & Menu Belleville Bakery Tour - Portland, ME

Map & Menu Belleville Bakery Tour - Portland, ME
When asked what their favorite items on the Belleville menu are, Chris and Amy noted that they “are particularly fond of the classics. A pure butter croissant, pain au chocolate, and almond croissant are our favorites. While we pay close attention to trends in the industry, our focus is on traditional french pastry but you’ll see American favorites as well. The chocolate chip cookie will never let you down.”

Map & Menu Belleville Bakery Tour - Portland, ME

Map & Menu Belleville Bakery Tour - Portland, ME

Belleville Maine
Standard Bakery has been an inspiration for a long time. In Paris, we walked into acclaimed bakery Du Pain et Des Idees and were at both enthralled and overwhelmed with our goal to open a quality bakery,” the couple recounts. Among Chris & Amy’s other must-visit bakeries include: Jane on Larkin, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, and B. Patisserie all in San Francisco. Vergennes Laundry and Sullivan Street Bakery are two of their favorites in the Northeast.
Belleville Bakery Portland, Maine
Chris and Amy noted that they “are particularly fond of the classics,” from Belleville’s menu. “A pure butter croissant, pain au chocolate, and almond croissant are our favorites.”

Belleville Bakery

Map & Menu Belleville Bakery Tour - Portland, ME
Chris & Amy view Belleville as a quaint, neighborhood spot. “We hope we learn your name when you come in to eat. We want neighbors to bring their friends to share great conversation and food, and enjoy the light shining in through those gorgeous front windows.”

Photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu

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