The French Pantry can trace its iconic Northeast Florida roots more than 20 years to 1995 when the original owners, Tim and Barbara Felver, moved across the country from California, leaving behind careers working alongside the likes of celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck (who became a close friend) and legendary pastry chef Mary Bergin. With a passion and knack for culinary arts, the couple set out to build their next venture – a commercial baking business in a modest warehouse on Powers Avenue near Wolfson High School.
The proximity to Wolfson High School, combined with the natural curiosity of teenagers, is what transitioned The French Pantry from a wholesale bakery into that and more. What started as a side project because a few local kids asked for a sandwich for lunch (sandwiches that the Felvers charged just $2 for), turned into a lucrative and iconic staple in Northeast Florida.
Fast forward to 2012 when the Felvers struck up a relationship with John Valentino, CEO of Legacy Restaurant Group, which includes five Mellow Mushroom and three Burrito Gallery concepts. What started out as partnership to provide sesame hoagie rolls for Mellow Mushroom sandwiches, grew into much more than that; ultimately, it lead to John taking ownership of The French Pantry (with the Felvers’ blessing, of course).
The French Pantry à Présent
The menu remains the same, and the Felvers are still actively overseeing the culinary delights that The French Pantry is known for. While John has been committed to bringing new ideas to the table, he has also remained diligent to keep the original spirit and focus that drew in the cult following in the first place.
The eclectic and engaging atmosphere that exists today rings true to the early days of the “Sandwich Crew” – it’s a place to gather with friends where the ambience is driven by great company and delicious food. And YES, some of the originals from the “Sandwich Crew” still come in!
On the wholesale side, The French Pantry continues to offer a variety of exceptional products with a specialized focus on delicious artisanal breads and sinfully sumptuous desserts. All ingredients are FRESH, and we remain wholly committed to using the BEST ingredients (rather than just the cheapest ones).
Now delivering bread to these restaurants in Northeast Florida