Here is some sweet news.
The Planning Commission last month approved a new bakery and take-out restaurant in the Food Village on Broadway Street. Gateau et Cuisine will specialize in European-style cakes, tarts, custom wedding cakes, cookies, drinks, breakfast items, salads, soups and artisan breads.
"I am super excited," said owner and local Judy Haron, who has targeted Feb. 1 as the grand opening of what she calls a "bistro bakery."
Haron, who has an associate of arts degree in fashion design and a bachelor's of fine arts in textile design, most recently attended the Art Institute of California — Orange County in Santa Ana, where she received a diploma in baking and pastry arts.
She plans to provide ongoing education for her staff from her mentor Stephanie Treand, who was a dessert judge on season two of "Top Chef," and who teaches at Art of Pastry in San Clemente.
Andrea Nees, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena and currently executive chef for Anneliese Schools, will serve in that capacity for Haron.
Haron said she likes uncomplicated food, not food that's been over-sauced or over-seasoned.
The menu will include spinach, Greek arugula, lentil, roasted bell pepper and tomato basil soup and the classic Caesar's salad.
"I have always been organic," she said. "Our company will be green and serve our cuisine on recycled products."
Haron's European Cake menu includes Lily's seasoned Fruit Mirror cake, a sponge cake with fruit mousse, a hint of chocolate and seasonal fruit glaze, and the Laguna Beach Ocean Berry cake, a low-sugar angel food cake with a blend of fresh blueberry compote, light whipped cream and mascarpone cheese, topped with seasonal berries.
Chocolate lovers will gravitate to the Sacher cake, with almond layers, rich chocolate ganache and apricot jam filling, all covered in a silky chocolate glaze.
The new establishment will add a different element to the current mix at the Food Village, which has undergone a shuffle in the past year.
"We are completely gutting and remodeling the space," Haron said. "We expect to break ground at the beginning of December."
There will be no inside seating.
The city does not have an overabundance of bakeries — Pavilions, Scandia, Ralphs, Andree's Patisserie, C'est La Vie and Albertsons. However, the Planning Commission must make special findings to approve bakeries because they are lumped in with take-out establishments that specialize in desserts such as ice cream, frozen yogurt, cookies and candy.
One of the required findings is that there are no more than 10 such establishments in downtown Laguna. Staff counted only nine within the Downtown Specific Plan area and recommended approval of the application.
"I am delighted to see a new bakery opening for North Laguna residents," Planning Commissioner Linda Dietrich said.
The commission approved hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily to allow flexibility during the summer, in the holiday season and on long weekends. Haron proposed regular hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; staying open until 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday; and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, with the bakery closed on Monday.