Student has become teacher at Vanille Patisserie.

The Chicago area-based French gourmet pastry wholesaler and retailer has been acquired by an investor group headed by Sophie Evanoff - a former student of co-founder Dimitri Fayard.

Evanoff, who studied under Fayard at Chicago's French Pastry School, says she's ecstatic about the new role.

“It’s a pretty unique opportunity,” she says. “I’m super thrilled to be here. We’re all just really excited for the future of Vanille.”

Fayard and the other co-founder, Keli Fayard, will continue with the company in an advisory capacity.

“They did such an amazing job with the brand, so I’m ready to take it to the next level,” Evanoff says.

Evanoff also has worked in operations, production and marketing managerial capacities with several area gourmet confection and pastry companies. Fayard says he’s confident in her leadership.

"The acquisition of Vanille Patisserie by Ms. Evanoff, a former student, will enable the existing team to continue in the tradition of the world's finest French pastry chefs, who exemplify quality, creativity and exquisite taste," he says.

Vanille Patisserie provides luxury desserts to a number of Chicago's finer restaurants and hotels and provides specialized catering and wedding cake creations. It also has retail outlets in the Lincoln Park neighborhood and in the West Loop French Market complex. It also serves an extensive client base online at

"The specialized gourmet pastry market has remained strong and viable despite the economic downtown in the Chicagoland area," says Evanoff. "Consumers have always enjoyed the experience of a gourmet treat, whether at their favorite restaurant, from a specialized shop or at home.”

For more information, visit or call (773) 868-4574.