Mille owners, local coffee roaster Tom Patton team up

Larger space means more pastries, a new local coffee roaster

Life has been a whirlwind for restaurateurs Marcel and Stephanie Remillieux, whose downtown French patisserie/café/coffeeshop Mille burst onto the scene in late-2021 to nigh-instant acclaim.

Back in 2017, the couple opened their Los Alamos eatery Fleur de Lys; by 2021, they’d changed gears to take over the downtown Alameda Street building that once housed French joint Bouche. Now, as 2023 comes to a close, demand has outgrown the Remillieuxs’ current kitchen space, and Marcel tells SFR they’ll team with coffee roaster Tom Patton to take over a commercial kitchen at 1314 Apache Avenue in Midtown as part of the next big scale-up. Business will proceed as usual at Mille’s restaurant at 451 Alameda St., but much of its baking operations will soon relocate to the new space.

“When the building that is Apache Avenue Kitchen came on the market six months ago, I jumped at the opportunity because we’re running out of space,” he explains. “We’re already doing more than 1,000 morning pastries a week. And, because it’s a kitchen building, we can expand our production—I’d like to do gelato at some point, increase our variety of pastries; I’d like to do brioche, more variety of croissants and breads, plus there’s Tom.”

Patton, who left 35 Degrees North as last month after five years as its roaster, tells SFR he’s a lifelong coffee fan who became interested in the entire process from farm-to-roaster-to-cup while in college. He’s been roasting for 20 years after rising through the public-facing ranks of Starbucks.

“What got me into it originally was an interest in how things were made...there’s been this separation from the common consumer and the creation of common things,” Patton says. “I also appreciate how distinct coffee can be, and not just from country to country, but from farm to farm and microlot to microlot. There is much to explore.”

Patton will continue that exploration with his OddBox Coffee Roasters, which will reside within the same building as Mille though operate as its own entity.

“Marcel and I have partnered in the ownership of the building,” he explains, “but the businesses we run within it will be separate.”

OddBox is just kicking off but both Remillieux and Patton say they’ve got plenty of ideas in the hopper.

“At some point, maybe we’d like to make [the space] available to caterers and people who’d like to cook and bake,” Remillieux notes, “but we will see. ”

Patton echoes that sentiment.

“My focus right now is getting the roaster up and running and then selling online and retail bags to people who want to pick up a freshly roasted bag of coffee,” he says. “At some point down the road, I’m looking at wholesale, a tasting room; an opportunity to serve the people of Santa Fe brewed coffee, a simple menu. I want to be integrated in the community in a strong way, so maybe offering classes on brewing and tasting and potentially roasting. That’s the fun part about running your own business—you can go where the business is headed.”

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