After 32 years in business, the Bazan family is ready to take off their aprons, retire and enjoy life out of the kitchen.
Chez Bazan French Bakery, a Tyler staple and a favorite for sweet treats and elaborate cakes, will close in June. The exact date will be announced soon, and until that time, the store is still taking orders. They also plan to honor all previously existing orders.
The Bazan family said they wanted to thank all of their customers for their love and support through the years. That love and support appeared mutual through messages left on social media lamenting the loss of the popular bakery, with one commenter pledging to buy and freeze 100 cakes.
“As much as our customers love the Chez, we want our customers to know the Bazan family loves you,” said Anna Bazan, daughter of the bakery’s founder.
The late Richard Bazan began construction for the bakery, but realized it would be too small for the business he wanted to open. Instead, he opened up in the new Highland Center on Troup Highway in 1985.
Chez Bazan wasn’t open for two years when he had to expand, taking over two more retail spaces to add a café and catering service. Six years later, Richard outgrew the space again and constructed a new building. In 1992, the business opened in its current location, 5930 Old Bullard Road.
At 23, Claudia Bazan took over running Chez Bazan French Bakery & Café after the death of her father, Richard Bazan, in 1999 at the age of 44.
After his death, Claudia ran the Plaza for a few months before closing it down and she began working at Chez Bazan 80 to 100 hours per week while attending night school.
Her mother Gracie Bazan thought the family should close down the business, but Claudia convinced her to give it five years, promising to sell the business if it didn’t work.
Claudia, her brother Ralph and sister Anna ran the bakery while their mother, Gracie, semi-retired and chatted with the customers.
The Tyler staple specializes in French goodies, such as quiches and crepes and is known for its cakes, pastries, cookies and other desserts.