We caught up with Debbie Holzheimer, founder of Metro Croissants located on Broadview Road in Parma. She told us how she started serving up delicious vegan croissants and how you can get your hands on some!

Tell us a little about your background and how you got the idea to start Metro Croissants. 

 
DebraHolzheimer900I never planned to start a business of any kind. Unknown to me, the Metro Croissants journey started in 1999 when I had my first croissant in Paris. They were nothing like the ones I was eating at home. I wanted to learn to make them, but the recipe was intimidating. Ingredients were familiar but the technique scared me. So I put it out of my mind and literally stopped eating croissants.
 

In 2012, I retired from nursing. After a few weeks, I got a bit bored with so much time on my hands. I thought this is a great time to learn to make croissants. Over several months, I practiced using blogs and YouTube for guidance. Finally, they were so good I got requests for them from friends and family.

For fun, I started selling to the public at Tremont Farmers’ Market in 2013 where one shopper asked if I would consider making a vegan version. You see, mine were made the traditional way with dairy milk and LOTS of butter. To make them vegan, all products from animals had to be replaced with plant-based ingredients. Remember, I was retired so I had time to experiment. The shopper was my taste tester. Two weeks after she asked, I was selling butter and vegan croissants at the farmers’ market. Due to people sharing on social media, the vegan line became 95% of sales. In 2019 we decided to focus only on vegan products and discontinued the butter line. Metro Croissants has grown because I responded to a need in the marketplace.

What makes your Croissants unique?

First and foremost, our pastries are delicious. They are handmade with high-quality ingredients. They can be enjoyed by almost anyone e.g., vegans, vegetarians, the lactose intolerant and those just wanting to increase plants in their diet (flexitarian). However, they are not gluten free.

What’s your personal favorite?

Would you believe that we have over 10 varieties of croissants, and my go-to is the classic plain? Maybe because it takes me back to my Parisian breakfasts of croissant with jam and a steaming cup of dark-roast coffee.

Why did you choose to open a location in Parma?

I looked at many sites around the Cleveland area including Parma. I didn’t consider our current location at all until I met with the landlord, George. Robin, owner of Little Birdie Wine Nest, spoke highly of him and encouraged me to contact him. We met that same night and started the process. He has been an absolute gem; kind, supportive and more than fair.

Me and my family moved to Parma in 1959 when it was vibrant and growing. I have seen the city decline and was worried, even scared. But now, I’m excited watching it revitalize. Young, single professionals, young families and retirees are moving here. They’re excited to live in Parma. Vegans in the immediate area are amazed that there is a vegan shop in Parma! These observations are based on comments from customers that come to our shop. It’s an exciting time for this city!

How can people enjoy your Croissants?

Our products are available in stores and cafes around NE Ohio. Find one close to you by visiting metrocroissants.com/purchase/retail.

We do not have walk-in hours. Our fresh and frozen bakery is available for pre-order on our website and pickup at our shop, 6042 Broadview Rd in Parma.

When the stay-at-home order is lifted we will resume pop ups with vegan food vendors in the shop. For those events, all of our pastries will be available baked, ready to eat. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for details!

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