We spoke with Josue Negron, pastry chef of Dulce Artisanal Pastry in Collingswood.
Can you give us some background on Dulce? How did it come about?
I’ve worked in hotels, the Ritz Carlton in Florida and the Marriott in Pittsburgh, and restaurants, chiefly Starr Restaurants in Philly. From these sort of disparate locations I learned different things, and that people want different things all the time. I decided to bring all that knowledge and those needs together with one place. It took me about 4 years from concept to opening.
What made you decide to open the store in Collingswood? How did you choose your location?
I’ve lived in town for 8 years now, so I’ve gotten to know it pretty well. It’s obviously a growing food destination, and I’ve learned what people are looking for in terms of that as well. Regarding the space itself, well—for one, it’s in the middle of the downtown area on Haddon Avenue. But more personally, I was walking down the street one night to pick up something from Wawa, and it was a full moon, so when I happened to turn to look inside this space that was listed for rent, I saw the moonlight coming down through the skylight, and that was it.
How did you get your start as a pastry chef? Did you always want to be a chef?
I’ve always been around food. My grandparents had a business selling roasted pork in Puerto Rico, and then everyone always told me I was a good cook, so I studied Culinary in Puerto Rico. My food was given praise in school too, so I moved to Florida to study Baking-and-Pastry. I’ve just always liked to cook.
What is your favorite item to make on the menu? What do you suggest people try when they are coming in for the first time?
My favorite item to make is the Baguette. It just comes naturally to me, the shaping and everything. The smell in the morning is great too. What I would recommend depends on the taste of the customer, whether it’s the Stout Brownie, Chocolate Croissant, Baguette or Chocolate Chip, all of which are customer favorites.
What is the best part of owning a pastry shop in Collingswood?
Seeing residents walking with a Baguette in hand.