Patisserie YAHAGI is a small family-run shop at Church Corner mall. Like many other small businesses, they worried about their future during the lockdown period.
Owner-patissier, Eri Yahagi, considered other ways to provide her desserts and cakes such as using a delivery platform when the lockdown ended. But she knew that her elaborately decorated gateaux were too delicate to deliver and she couldn’t afford the extra costs associated with delivery.
At that moment, she decided that the best thing she could do was to just continue making delicious sweets and hope that the customers would return to her shop after the lockdown.
When the lockdown was over, Eri started preparing exquisite delicacies as she usually would and announced, on their Facebook page, that her patisserie would reopen safely.
Upon reopening, she was appreciative of the immediate positivity she received through kind messages of support and many of her loyal customers paying her a visit.
She soon found herself in a fortunate position where she realised that while she was waiting to reopen her shop, her fans were waiting to get their hands on their favourite treats.
Eri explains her latest creation at Patisserie YAHAGI is Soleil. Soleil (which translates to sun in French) is a cheese mousse dessert made from cream cheese and fresh-squeezed orange juice with almond sponge and tart pastry base.
Eri hopes that her, “Soleil will make people happy, like a ray of sunshine in winter, especially in the current tough situation”.
There is no doubt the many new eateries opening up in the Christchurch city centre are attracting a considerable number of people into the central city. These newcomers have meant that established businesses outside the CBD have been struggling, even with the most loyal of customers.
Patisserie YAHAGI in Upper Riccarton, which has been providing exquisite desserts and cakes since 2009, is one of these suburban businesses.
The owner patissier, Eri Yahagi says, “Compared with newly-opened shops in the CBD, the atmosphere around our shop seems rather dim and old-fashioned.
However, we believe that true dessert connoisseurs still make an effort to visit our shop.”
To make the most of New Zealand’s summer, Eri sources high-quality sweet strawberries from a reliable strawberry farmer in Timaru to make delicious desserts.
They include fresh cream gateaux with strawberries, strawberry Swiss rolls and the newest creation – strawberry cup.
The strawberry cup is composed of special strawberry mousse, finely chopped strawberries and sour cream mousse, lavishly decorated with sliced fresh strawberries.
Eri remarks, “We can make these cups only when the strawberry farmer can supply us, meaning that they are strictly limited to the summer season.
We really do recommend people come in and try our strawberry cakes before the warm weather ends!”
Although Patisserie YAHAGI is hidden away in a tiny, old arcade in Church Corner at Upper Riccarton, it should definitely be one of the chief reasons to visit this part of town.
Chocolate is arguably the most universally loved treat in the world. However, for the last 80 years just three types of chocolate – dark, milk and white have been available. This finally changed in 2017 with the exciting innovation of a fourth chocolate type.
The name of this new style is Ruby Chocolate, developed by the world’s largest Belgian-Swiss company Barry Callebaut, with their ruby cocoa beans grown in Ecuador, Brazil or the Ivory Coast. As the name suggests, the chocolate comes in a natural pink hue and offers a different taste from the other three types – it is best described as having a smooth berry-fruity flavour but without any actual berries or colours added!
Patisserie Yahagi at Church Corner Mall, Upper Riccarton is well-known for its gold award-winning Opera Gateau. Their last special edition was Green Tea Opera, and they now offer ‘Ruby Opera’ made from Ruby Chocolate, for a limited time.
Owner Eri Yahagi says, “This new fourth chocolate style is quickly becoming the next trend in the international confectionary business and so I would like to give people in Christchurch the opportunity to try the new chocolate craze in the best way possible, with our new Ruby Opera Gateau”.
If you call yourself a chocolate lover and have yet to try the world’s fourth chocolate, Patisserie Yahagi should top your list of places to visit this month.
Patisserie Yahagi, located in an old shopping arcade at Church Corner mall, Upper Riccarton, celebrated its tenth birthday on 4 March.
The shop has been providing more than 15 kinds of exquisite desserts since it opened. Although the offerings in the cabinet have changed frequently to match the seasons, some products have remained in the line-up for ten years because of devoted fans.
One of them is Mousse au Chocolat (chocolate mousse), the bestseller at Patisserie Yahagi. It consists of both dark and milk Belgium chocolate and has turned many chocolate lovers into loyal devotees of Patisserie Yahagi.
Owner, Eri Yahagi, says with a smile “I can’t count how many chocolate mousses I’ve made in the past ten years, but all have sold out. I’m delighted because it means so many people have had the opportunity to enjoy our chocolate mousses.
“Over the years, many of our young customers who tried our chocolate mousse when we first opened left Christchurch to study or work in other places. But when they return during their holidays, they often visit our shop. They tell us that they miss our chocolate mousse and it is the best of its kind.”
The cakes from Patisserie Yahagi have become memories in their lives, just like your mother’s and grandmother’s baking when you were a child. A decade of Patisserie Yahagi means it has established itself as a ‘sweet memory’ to local customers!
What comes to your mind upon hearing the word ‘Opera’? Most will think of opera as the performing arts. Some will visualise the Sydney Opera House. However, many regular customers of Patisserie Yahagi, at Church Corner Mall in Upper Riccarton, will imagine the Opera Cake.
The Opera Cake is a French cake named after the Opera House in Paris. It is made with layers of almond sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup, layered with chocolate ganache and coffee buttercream, and covered in a chocolate glaze. Unfortunately, when Eri Yahagi, the owner of Patisserie Yahagi, opened her shop in 2009, Opera Cakes were not well-known because only a few shops sold them in Christchurch.So, when Eri first began to sell her beautiful Opera Cakes in her shop, she explains that many customers asked her if it was a tiramisu, to which she has always responded with a smile, “No. This is Opera. It’s not an Italian cake but a French cake. You must try it, once.”
Fast forward seven years and the only question that her customers ask is, “Can I have your award-winning Opera?” Her exquisite Opera even won the Gold Award, winning in the Café Dessert Section of New Zealand Bakery of the Year in 2010 – and they can easily be enjoyed along with other award-winning cakes that await at Patisserie Yahagi.
If cake lovers have never tried Patisserie Yahagi’s Opera Cake, they have been missing out on a great opportunity to step into the Christchurch Opera House!
When you work within or establish a new business, what makes you the happiest?
For Eri Yahagi, the owner of Patisserie Yahagi at Church Corner mall in Upper Riccarton, happiness comes in knowing that her customers enjoy her desserts and cakes, but especially when they pass that joy on to their dearest people.
These were posted on the Facebook page of one of her customers on Valentine’s Day.
Heath Wells posted at 16:05 on his Facebook:
“It’s Valentine’s Day and I cannot think of anything nicer for Heather than a sweet treat from what is, in my opinion, the best patisserie here in Christchurch, Patisserie Yahagi…
This is their creation to celebrate today – a heart shaped raspberry and chocolate mousse.”
Heath Wells posted at 16:33 posted on his Facebook:
“So this just happened… This morning Heather Wells and I had a conversation along the lines of Valentine’s Day being a commercialised thing and we wouldn’t buy into it and get each other anything. Of course I was like, ‘Yeah right! As if I would not get something’. So, as per my previous post, I went along to Patisserie Yahagi and got that heart shaped treat…
Well, it seems Heather Wells had similar thoughts, and also called into Patisserie Yahagi on the way home and picked up this gorgeous looking chocolate tart! Great minds think alike!”
This heartwarming story is right at the heart of what Eri loves most about her business. “They got their desserts from Patisserie Yahagi for each other because they thought this was the best for each other!”
And so Eri will continue to bake her desserts and cakes to make people you love like your partner, family and friends happy. Who’s your special someone that you want to treat with Patisserie Yahagi’s creations?