Sometimes, the simplest things are the best. And nothing is simpler than a crepe, a light and very delicate French pancake. It’s what you put in it or on it, however, that transforms this simple pancake into a gustatory sensation.
The Flint Crepe Company in Downtown Flint has been serving scrumptious crepes to the community since 2008. Founded by a group of investors, it was initially a mobile crepe cart seen at the Flint Farmers’ Market and events around town. In 2011, the group opened the store-front eatery and coffee shop on S. Saginaw Street. Managing Partner Erik Agar, Head Chef Chris Day and Cameron Simpson, Public Relations Manager, sat down with My City Magazine over a cup of coffee to talk about their booming business, which was recently voted the third most popular coffee shop in the state of Michigan by M-Live.
What will you find at Flint Crepe Company? “We make crepes,” laughed Chris, “We also focus on serving high-quality coffees and teas.” And everything is made using the freshest and finest ingredients that have been ethically sourced, added Erik. Ingredients are seasonal and FCC even has a hoop house on Court Street near Michigan School for the Deaf where they grow a lot of greens such as kale and mustard, as well as tomatoes, peppers and squash. “You won’t find a strawberry crepe here in the winter,” Erik laughs. The orange juice served at FCC is from Florida and is fresh-squeezed right before it is shipped. The milk is fresh from Calder Brothers farm just outside of Detroit. “It’s vat-pasteurized and the cream is on top so it is very thick and rich,” says Erik.
On the savory side, the most popular crepe on the menu is the Reuben, made with Detroit corned beef and absolutely delicious and unique house-made sauerkraut, topped with luscious Baby Swiss cheese, a touch of soy sauce and house-made Thousand Island dressing. Another favorite is the Tangy Thai – a crisp mix of ginger, Michigan green apples, shredded carrots, and parsnips, topped with house-made, sweet and tangy Seoul Sauce in a crepe with an egg cooked on the outside. Want something sweet? The Dutch Apple Pie crepe is made with Michigan apples cooked in cinnamon and other spices, then topped with homemade granola, and the exquisite Raspberry Danish crepe contains a mixture of raspberry and cheesecake sauce with creamy, aged cheddar.
The same attention to detail is evident in the coffees and teas on the menu. The coffee beans are roasted at Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, according to Chris, and Zingerman’s blends the coffee to FCC’s specifications – an espresso blend and a brick blend. All the coffee syrups are also house-made, including vanilla, caramel and chai. The very popular chai is hand-blended organic and fair-trade certified spice mixture of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg and cacao. “We really put a lot of love into our drinks,” Erik smiles. Espresso is made with an impressive, stainless steel Slayer Espresso machine. The most popular drinks are caramel latte and caramel cappuccino, and the menu also includes a wide variety of loose-leaf Rishi teas.
The decor at the crêperie is as unique as the menu. Hanging from the ceiling is a penny-farthing bicycle, which has a large front wheel and smaller back wheels, adding to the antique bike theme. “Bikes take you back to simpler times,” Erik says. “We like simple, everyday living.” He and many of the staff embrace that philosophy by riding bikes to work every day.
The Flint Crepe Company lives by a few simple guiding principles for the food it serves, according to Erik. Those principals are: It tastes good; it is ethically sourced; it’s made from scratch using local products and as fresh as it can be!
Photography by Mike Naddeo