“A proposal of marriage,” she said, laughing while sitting next to her partner in life and business, François Goedhuys. “I was on the East Coast, and he finally proposed, so it was time to come out here.”
Growing up on a small farm in Belgium, François Goedhuys attended pastry school in Antwerp and went on to work as a baker in Brussels and Switzerland before he moved to the United States in 1968. Soon, he found himself owning and operating a bakery and restaurant in Houston. It was there that he met Diana Goedhuys through his son, who attended the small private school that she owned.
Then in 1987, François Goedhuys packed up and moved to La Jolla, where he opened Girard Gourmet on Girard Avenue on Aug. 1 that year. About three years later, Diana Goedhuys joined him, and he realized he could use some help with his business.
“I was baking day and night,” he said. So Diana Goedhuys – who had owned and ran her school for 15 years – started helping him with customers and the business side of things so he could focus on what he does best: making delicious and beautiful desserts.
After almost 30 years of marriage, running a successful business and keeping up their organic garden in Julian together, they’ve got it down to a science.
“There’s advantages and disadvantages I guess,” Françoise Goedhuys said, smiling. “We’re so used to each other now.”
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t surprises.
“Somebody will come and ask for a cookie, and I'll have a little idea of what he could do,” Diana Goedhuys said. “Then he comes and does something completely different that’s brilliant and beautiful.”
“I’m always amazed at what he comes up with,” she said.
Valentine’s Day Cookies
Girard Gourmet is already making their popular Valentine’s Day cookies. Small cookies start at $6, the larger cookies start at $10, and both have the option to personalize. Visit the shop at 7837 Girard Ave. or go to girardgourmet.com.