A Well Deserved Decadence
By Jacqueline Gonzalez
By: Jacqueline Gonzalez Photos by: Rachel Benavides
Bien Mérité is the latest venture to join the Coastal Bend’s quickly growing community of local businesses. Michelle Fraedrick originally operated Matcha Konomi, where she specialized in premium quality Japanese Matcha. During this time, she paired with Ghrawoi Chocolate Company to learn the intricacies of incorporating Matcha into chocolate. When Ghrawoi closed, Michelle was offered their chocolate-making equipment, and together with co-owner Alhasan Alafghani, the idea of creating a small retail store to sell chocolates came to be. After much thought and collaboration, they opted to expand to a French-style bakery, which allowed them to add more menu items and get a little more creative.
Bien Mérité, which translates to “well-deserved,” provides an environment where people can enjoy a well-deserved moment to relax outside of their daily schedules. “I want customers to feel like they’ve left Corpus Christi and entered a little café in Paris,” says Michelle.
The small, quaint feminine aesthetic of the bakery transports visitors to Europe. The white ice cream table and chair sets provide a fun and stylish seating area, while the gorgeous flower wall is perfect for the obligatory selfie. The menu, which consists of a variety of palate-pleasing éclairs, madeleines, macarons, croissants, chocolates, and coffee, allows guests to spend une journée à Paris.
The ultimate goal is that Bien Mérité will be a well-known community place. “People are happy to have something different from a hipster coffee shop. Everyone comes together in small groups, and you see that they recognize other customers, making it a really fun place to go.”
Michelle credits Bien Mérité’s success to the collaborative efforts of her team. Rebekah Mills and Adrianna Kamosa launched the entire campaign on social media outlets and continue to work tirelessly behind the scenes to share a taste of Paris with the community. Melanie Jackson and William Gonzalez are the masterminds behind the delicious, fresh-made pastries, while Sadie Lopez serves up delicious coffee for all.
Michelle enjoys being a part of the revitalization of the Six Points area and envisions a community in which people can spend time walking to a variety of local businesses. She hopes Bien Mérité will serve its purpose to provide high-quality items, bringing more traffic to the area and hopefully, more businesses.
Until then, Paris is just around the corner.