While on a visit to San Francisco in 2007, I came across this little shop with a funny name, Beard Papa. What was that? I had to check it out. It was a sort of pastry shop selling “fresh ‘n natural cream puffs.” Who can resist that? Not me. I was hooked from the first bite.
Beard Papa is a Japanese company that opened its first store in 1999. Now there are over 250 stores in Japan and 300 more worldwide. In the US, the locations are mostly on the West Coast. So, upon returning to Florida, I was no longer able to get my Beard Papa fix. But lo and behold, last year a store opened in Sanford, Florida (a little north of Orlando.)
Beard Papa’s choux pastry cream puffs are about four inches in diameter and stuffed with a variety of whipped cream custard filling flavors including vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, coffee, banana, and special flavors like raspberry, Pina Colada, mango and green tea. Filling flavors are sold on a rotating schedule, but they always have vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. I prefer the eclairs which have vanilla cream and a chocolate ganache topping.
Beard Papa uses the freshest ingredients and organically grown vanilla. The puffs are also free of preservatives. Each puff is filled upon ordering, keeping them incredibly fresh and delicious.
In addition to the cream puffs, Beard Papa has Mochi ice cream, a bite-sized Japanese rice cake and ice cream treat which comes in a bunch of different flavors. They also serve smoothies, frappes and shakes. They now even have lunch entrees like salads, sandwiches and stuffed potatoes. I haven’t tried anything but the cream puffs, however the gigantic stuffed sweet potatoes have caught my eye. I’ll have to try one next time.
The cream puffs are a bit expensive, about $2.00 a piece, but you can save money by buying them in a six pack. Why not? Keep them refrigerated and you can enjoy them for a few days, although they are best when eaten right away.
Dates of Visit: 2007 to present