Beloved French bakery in Rock Hill reopens, but its owners are stuck overseas

Mado Paris French Bakery & Cafe has made its sweet return in Rock Hill — but its owners are asking customers to enjoy the patisserie with a generous side of patience.

The bakery at 1108 Cherry Road closed at the end of June after owners Serge and Odette Agonglo returned to France to renew their non-immigrant visa at the U.S. Embassy. The visa was unexpectedly denied, and the Agonglos have remained in France, working to resubmit their application. To add to the delay, staffing at the U.S. Embassy was reduced during the summer, which meant limited appointments for new visa applications, the couple explained on social media.

“We have decided to reopen the shop, even if we won’t be physically present,” the Agonglos said in a Facebook post this week.

“During this transitional period, we want to be upfront and acknowledge that there may be some changes in the product options and experience. It’s a phase we need to navigate together as a community to fix and improve the situation. We kindly ask for your understanding, gentleness and patience during this time.”

The Agonglos didn’t want to keep their devoted fans waiting any longer for their favorite French sweets and coffee. The entrepreneurs remain in France, but Mado’s doors opened with their staff in Rock Hill on Friday morning at 9 a.m. (coincidentally on National Coffee Day).

Only cash payments will be accepted this weekend.

Mado has developed a following for its flaky, buttery croissants, savory breads like sourdough with Swiss cheese, bacon, rosemary and onions, delectable macarons and authentic patisserie made from butter, flour and chocolate from France.

A Swiss cheese sourdough bread with bacon, rosemary and onion and a savory croissant pastry from Mado Paris French Bakery & Cafe. Heidi Finley/CharlotteFive
A Swiss cheese sourdough bread with bacon, rosemary and onion and a savory croissant pastry from Mado Paris French Bakery & Cafe. Heidi Finley/CharlotteFive

While they’ve been gone, the Agonglos have kept up with devoted customers through Zoom meetings as they wait for their visa.

Support has remained strong for the French entrepreneurs this summer, with customers sending prayers and well wishes, and suggesting donations for the couple as they wade through the international red tape.

Customers were obviously excited about the re-opening announcement.

“Thank God, ohhh I can’t wait,” Shenell Franklin said on Facebook. “Might be late to work in the morning for this.”

“Yayyyyyy so excited to come back and support!!!” Nati, another customer, said on the bakery’s Instagram.

“Can’t wait till we can see you two face to face again!! God bless and to many many more blessings to come.”

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The Agonglos have returned the thanks as they await seeing their beloved customers again.

“We are truly humbled by your unwavering support and the genuine care you have shown us. Your belief in our bakery and your willingness to stand by our side mean the world to us,” the Agonglos posted on Facebook in July.

“We want to thank each and every one of you for being a part of our community and for your incredible support. Your kindness gives us strength and hope as we navigate through these obstacles.”

Mado Paris is located at 1108 Cherry Road, Rock Hill, SC. WSOC-TV
Mado Paris is located at 1108 Cherry Road, Rock Hill, SC. WSOC-TV

Mado Paris French Bakery & Cafe

Location: 1108 Cherry Rd, Rock Hill, SC 29732

Instagram: @madoparisbakery