After Romain Lecat and Alexandre Lecat created a small wholesale bakery concept in Downtown Los Angeles, they noticed a developing customer base in the South Bay. With the help of local supporters Alison Clay-Duboff, Deborah Naumovski, Gulshen Kaur and real estate developer Sarkis Kassardjian, the brothers opened Sweet Wheat in Redondo Beach on the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Avenue G.
Born and raised in and around Paris, Alex and Romain would routinely have excellent espressos and croissants for breakfast and a fresh baguette daily. Romain refers to this common French experience as “quintessential Parisian” and “simply a cultural must.” So when they fell in love with and moved to Los Angeles, they were determined to take this piece of homeland with them.
“Metaphorically, you might say that Alex is the hands, I am the head and together we share the heart [of the business].”
Since their grandfather owned a classic French bistro in Paris, they grew up buying freshly made baguettes for their sandwiches and pastries at the espresso bar. For them, the aroma and sight of fresh-baked bread and artisan pastries was “a wow experience every morning.”
Those childhood memories were the perfect foundation for their subsequent studies at l’École de Boulangerie et de Pâtisserie de Paris. They always intended to open their own artisanal boulangerie and create special French-style food experiences for others.
At Sweet Wheat, Alexandre is focused on production—ensuring they source the highest-quality ingredients and create delicious recipes that keep customers coming back for more. Romain handles the front-of-house experience as well as all the back-end administrative work.
They are thankful to be able to work together as brothers, and their specific roles and responsibilities ensure that they share ownership of the business and its continued success. “Metaphorically, you might say that Alex is the hands, I am the head and together we share the heart [of the business],” says Romain.
They attribute customer loyalty and enthusiasm to the quality ingredients they use and the fast and friendly style of service. Sweet Wheat uses 100% French raw ingredients. They make fresh bread daily, using their own blend of flour from certified non-GMO whole grains that are free from additives and enzymes and are sourced in regional French mills.
Then they follow a traditional levain method for their yeast dough, where the active starter for their baked goods takes several weeks to create. “There are no cutting corners because we know our long, slow [proofing] and fermentation process ensures a complex bread flavor that is proven to be better for digestion and health,” says Alex.
The “proof” is not only in the dough but also reflected in their rising popularity. So far, word of mouth and the new location get most people in the door. The authentic and decadent pastry offerings keep people coming back. They also have many positive reviews online and a solid social media following, attracting customers from short and long distances.
The delicious aroma of fresh-baked pastries and bread and the eye-catching glass display filled with French-style quiches, salads and baguette sandwiches like jambon et fromage might make some wonder what to try first. Romain’s personal favorite is the bostock, a brioche-based pastry with almond cream filling and sliced almonds on top. He says, “If you are an almond croissant lover, this may be your next favorite thing!”
Romain and Alexandre want customers to know that they love what they do and are thrilled to share their deliciously sweet and savory offerings with the community. They look forward to greeting you when you stop in for a treat or “grab and go” your favorite bakery and bistro offering for summer concerts in the park or a beach-day picnic. It won’t be long before beachside residents will be saying bonjour!