Metro, Newton, Food

Newton Home Bakery Business Provides an Authentic Taste of France

Marion Bonte, who recently moved to the United States, offers Newton residents a taste of authentic French baked goods with her home bakery business, hoping to build connections with members in her community.

“I think food is a wonderful way to share with people and to meet them,” Bonte said. “That’s how I arrived to bake.”

Bonte’s family has moved countries every three years due to her husband’s job. She relocated to Newton from Sao Paulo, Brazil with her husband and three children in April 2022. 

While she misses the liveliness of Sao Paulo, she said she appreciates the tranquility of living in Newton.

“When we arrived here and we had squirrels in the garden and rabbits, we were like, ‘Oh my God. It’s so calm. It’s so peaceful,’” Bonte said.

While Bonte enjoys baking, she does not bake professionally. For her day job, she consults parents on how to raise their children, a job she does remotely in French. 

“[Baking] gave me the opportunity to meet people, not to be like on my computer all day long in my office, speaking French to French people,” Bonte said.

Bonte began baking around 10 to 15 years ago when she moved to China, as she struggled finding French products there. Since then, baking has become a passion for her.

Bonte received a home inspection from the city of Newton in July 2022 to certify her kitchen was up to code to operate the business. She officially began accepting baking orders in October.

She accepts orders through her website every week through Tuesday at midnight and delivers them every Friday.

“I really enjoy the delivery day because sometimes I meet the clients, and I can talk to them, practice my English,” Bonte said.

Bonte completes all deliveries herself without an additional delivery fee.

Bonte values using sustainable packaging materials in her business. Even the tags that she places on all of her baked goods use seeded paper that can either be planted to turn into flowers or composted.

“For me, it’s really important to reduce the impact on the environment,” she said.

Bonte said she uses only high-quality and organic ingredients, just as she would for her own family.

Bonte keeps her menu small since she is the sole baker and does not have a professional oven. She carefully picked out everything on the menu, which consists of several mouth-watering, classic French baked treats. 

She sells madeleines, which are small sponge cakes made with lemon. She also sells cannelés, which are miniature pastries filled with custard and made with vanilla and rum. Bonte’s chestnut cream cakes are typical of the French Alps, the region of France she is from.

Other menu items include crepes, dark chocolate pound cakes, and french baguettes.

Bonte said she hopes to add different items to her menu in the future, as she is currently perfecting recipes.

“I’m working on the French brioche like right now,” she said. “I’m hoping it will come out soon.”

Bonte’s primary method of promoting her business is by word of mouth. A customer spoke highly of Bonte to Lynne Robbins, the owner of Lynne’s White Robin Vintique in Newton Upper Falls, a store that sells both vintage and antique items. Robbins then contacted Bonte to ask her about baking something to accompany the teas that she sells in her store.

“She called her goods a taste of France, but to me, they tasted like heaven,” Robbins said.

Bonte started making meringues for Robbins to give to her customers along with their tea purchases at no additional cost.

Robbins said she feels grateful for Bonte’s generosity in making the meringues for the customers at her store, where she sells vintage and antique goods, according to her website.

“I hope to continue to feature Marion’s creations for as long as possible,” Robbins said.

Bonte said she will be leaving the United States in a few years. While she does not know where the family will end up after their three years in the United States, she has an optimistic outlook no matter where it is.

“Each time, I put myself in a mindset to make the most of the country where I live,” Bonte said. “For me, the nicest memories are always the contact with the community and the people.”

In the meantime, Bonte will continue to bring the Newton community a taste of France.

“It’s rare to find a truly skilled creative baker,” Robbins said. “Newton is lucky to have her.”

March 26, 2023