Say ‘I Love You’ With Asian-Influenced Croissants and Pastries
Toimoi Bakery's inspired flavors range from black-sesame-marshmallow to miso paste with bacon.
That was my spouse’s reaction to an assortment of flaky croissants in flavors such as cherry blossom (filled with cherry cream), pistachio-rose-almond (topped with rose petals and chopped nuts), strawberry-cream, and a chocolate-hazelnut number inspired by Italy’s famed Ferrero Rocher chocolates.
I will confess that, before I shared, I scarfed down a plain croissant and a spiral-shaped Danish loaded with miso paste and bacon, as well as a plié au chocolat—a pastry in which croissant dough is folded over a chocolate baton like a hot dog bun before baking.
Pu, 29, was born and raised in Beijing. She graduated from college in 2014 with a degree in food science and technology, then completed a one-year pastry program at the Ferrandi cooking school in Paris, and a concurrent internship for the bakery chain Le Grenier à Pain, where she honed her skills making laminated baked goods. (Lamination is the process of encasing butter in dough, then rolling, folding and turning that dough several times to create alternating thin layers. Puff pastry is a laminated dough. So are croissants, which, unlike puff pastry, also include yeast.)
After a return trip to China, Pu held a series of baking jobs in New York City and Washington, D.C. She moved to Fairfax in 2020, not wanting to commute into the city anymore. “I also realized I didn’t want a day-to-day job,” she says. “I saw a lot of bakeries going bankrupt during the pandemic and wanted to figure out how to operate a bakery without a storefront.”
She struck out on her own, selling first at the Fairfax City farmers market, and now in the Mosaic District.
Pu likes to change things up and is constantly trying out new creations. In addition to croissants—in flavors such as matcha-almond, black-sesame-marshmallow and mango-passionfruit-mochi—her menu may include moon cakes, chiffon cake rolls (ube or Oreo-chocolate-sea-salt) and Portuguese egg tarts. Most pastries range from $4.50 to $6. She sells out weekly, so preorder online or show up early to avoid disappointment.
The words toi moi translate as “you” and “me” in French.
“The meaning is to connect people through pastry,” she explains. Consider me very connected.