Interview: Intercontinental Crepes from Crepelicious
Bringing worldly flavors to Barrington
Kanjana Chartratanavanich (KC) and her husband Suriyont Mujjalintrakool (Suri) are world travelers and avid foodies. Last January, they brought their passion for desserts and coffee from around the world home to Barrington when they opened Crepelicious. Their quaint crepe shop on Maple Avenue boasts a Parisian theme but will surprise you with its variety of delicious crepes, pastries, teas and more, in.spired by tastes from Thailand to Italy to New York City.
What inspired you to start a crepe shop?
KC: We love to eat crepes. We travel a lot and there are so many good crepes all over the world. When I came home from one of our trips, I tried making crepes myself, and my family and friends loved them. I have been in the restaurant business for years and it has always been a dream of mine to start a restaurant of my own, so we decided that it should be a crepe place with lots of great coffee drinks too because my husband is a coffee lover.
What travel destinations have influenced you the most?
KC: We are from Thailand, so we find inspiration there when we go visit family. There are crepes everywhere, many of them sold by street vendors. One crepe place in Bangkok inspired me to make the crepe cakes. We also love the crepes at Lady M in New York, the Bellagio in Las Vegas and there are great crepes all over Italy and San Francisco. We go around and try crepes at local places too.
Could you describe the process of com.ing up with your original crepe recipe?
Suri: We have had our first crepe pan for many, many years. The pan has a crepe recipe on the back of it that we used the first time we made crepes. We started from there and kept adding new ingredients and changing it until it was perfect. It took a very long time, a lot of failure and learning from crepe-making classes in Thailand and here in Rhode Island before we perfected it.
What was the best feedback you’ve received so far as a new restaurant?
KC: We get a lot of feedback and it has really helped us grow. For example, we wouldn’t have savory crepes if it weren’t for feedback from a customer. The best feedback came from a man who ordered a strawberry cheesecake crepe but I accidentally made a blueberry cheesecake one. I ran out to the guy in the parking lot to tell him I would make him a new one, but he said ‘that’s fine’ and left. Lat.er, he called to tell us how great the crepe was. I was so worried; so that positive feedback was my favorite I’ve received.
Tell us about your coffee drinks.
Suri: Our bubble tea is the most popular but the espresso and cappuccino took us the longest to perfect. We sampled so many different coffee beans before finally deciding on Sumatra beans for the coffee, because they have a bold flavor, and espresso gold beans for the espresso and cappuccino.
I hear you have something called a crepe cone?
KC: We put ice cream in a cone made of crepes. You can put whatever you want inside, like homemade brownies, Fruity Pebbles, chocolate or caramel sauce. We found out about crepe cones in Ja.pan and I love how fun they look when there are a lot of toppings.
And you make a cake made out of crepes? What’s that process like?
KC: I make it layer by layer. I make 12-14 crepes and colorful crème frost.ing to go between them. The crepe cake requires a different recipe than the regular crepe. You have to make it fluffier. People find it surprising how light it is.
What’s your favorite crepe and hot drink combination?
Suri: I love the Strawberry-Banana-Nutella crepe. I’d pair it with an iced caramel latte. But my favorite thing here is the Afogado. It’s simple vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso on top of it. I would eat it on a hot day, with a bunch of friends after a bike ride. It’s very popular in Italy but I think it goes perfectly with a summer day in Barrington.
What are your goals for the future?
Suri: We want Crepelicious to grow, but we know that we can’t compromise quality and service. That’s key. We believe that Crepelicious should be a place where people can come to find something that is familiar to their taste and culture as well as something they’ve never tried before. We want this to be a place where everyone feels at home.
Kanjana Chartratanavanich and Suriyont Mujjalintrakool of Crepelicious
60 Maple Avenue, Barrington