Pictured above: Wendy Schay, left, and Jill McDonald


Winner, Best Bakery

Winner, Best Dessert

Winner, Best Restaurant (Newly Opened)

Top 3, Best Breakfast

Since they first started taking private orders for their delectable French-style croissants in 2018, Wendy Schay and Jill McDonald, certified executive chefs, have created an edible empire. From vending at farmers markets to a food truck and now their own cafe, the Croissanterie in Little Rock, the pair of former culinary instructors now offer a wide range of services: full-service custom catering, as well as cakes, breakfast, lunch and dinner.


“If it’s food-centric, we can probably do it,” Schay said.


Those croissants do not come easy, either. The Croissanterie’s commitment to traditional French techniques means that it takes three days to create the buttery, flaky layers that keep customers craving more. On top of that, Schay and McDonald are dedicated to using as many local and seasonal products as possible, making 80 to 90 percent of their offerings completely from scratch.


While the Croissanterie continues to expand its reach, adding layers to an already winning concept, Schay and McDonald continue to be grateful for the support that has allowed them to get this far. The pair said they were surprised and excited to find out they were among AY’s Best of 2023.


“We are really in the people business,” McDonald said. “It’s such an honor to be recognized by your community and peers, especially when we are so new to the show and up against such great restaurants. Thank you!”


14710 Cantrell Road  • Little Rock • 501.412.4244