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Uncertain future for popular French bakery La Baguette Magique as owner faces cancer treatment

Her husband plans to shuttle between France and West Chester to run the shop in the short term.

Baker/owner Catherine Seisson at La Baguette Magique, 202 W. Market St., West Chester
Baker/owner Catherine Seisson at La Baguette Magique, 202 W. Market St., West ChesterRead moreMICHAEL KLEIN /

La Baguette Magique, a popular French bakery in West Chester, is facing an uncertain future as owner Catherine Seisson will be treated for eye cancer in France.

Her husband, Patrick Chevarier, told me that the bakery will remain open “for sure" through Oct. 19, as her treatment begins Oct. 21 in Paris. For the short term, Chevarier said he planned to shuttle between France and West Chester to help manage, but acknowledged that he was exploring other options.

Seisson, a Lyon-born Ph.D, came into the pro baking world as a career-changer. She was working an executive’s job with pharm giant Sanofi when she decided that she’d had enough of the corporate life. She took a year off and went back to school to learn baking.

La Baguette Magique opened at 202 W. Market St., across from the justice center, in spring 2015.

The sleek, open cafe has glassed-in shelves that hold an enviable line of breads, pastries, sandwiches, quiches, and the like.

Chevarier posted the following on Facebook:

When we opened our doors for the first time in March 2015, no one -- including Catherine! -- had any idea what to expect from a traditional French bakery in the midst of West Chester. But this town and its wonderful residents and neighbors have flocked to us from the beginning, and we’ve been happy and grateful to create a community here with so many friends over the years.

But right now we’re facing some urgent challenges.

Catherine has a personal health issue that will best be addressed in France, and she and her family will be flying there on Saturday, Oct. 19, indefinitely. Our plan as a business for now is to remain open -- with a few changes, and a lot of teamwork from our very small staff.

Going forward, we will be closed Mondays AND Tuesdays. We will be open Wednesday through Sunday at our regular hours, and we will offer almost all of our present menu, with a few tweaks. Rest assured all of your favorites will remain -- bread, of course, croissants in all their varieties, quiche,and our signature tarts.

But we will have to forgo soirees, and any other special evening events. We will not be able to take retail orders, and we will not have a Thanksgiving or Christmas menu.

What we will have, we hope, is your support and your love during this time, while Catherine begins the treatment sheneeds in France and the rest of the staff pull together to keep our doors open for you.