Napoleon’s Creamepuffery – Lindenwold, NJ
I have always wondered what separates the good from the great in the food world. I think it has to come from a true passion and desire of what you are making, and Charlene Napoleon’s story reflects this. A dream of owning a bakery started an early age while she whipped up delicious treats throughout her life for friends and family. Even with the encouragement of friends and family, she did not pursue her true love though. Instead, she began a career as a hairdresser climbing the corporate ladder all the way up to National Education Trainer for Redken Hair Products. One would think such acclaim would satisfy the soul, but this was not the case with Charlene. She longed for the days of doing what she really cared about, baking delectable treats. So she dug in her heels and in 1985 set out on her own going from markets and festivals in an old ice cream truck selling her beloved cream puffs while creating a devote following of fans waiting to see the truck roll around again. Well the hard work paid off and in 1995 she was able to put down some roots by moving into an old farmhouse and have people come to her instead opening Napoleon’s Creamepuffery (NC). It was not only a bold move, but obviously the right one as eighteen years later, she is still in business and making cream puffs with a love you can notice the moment you bite into one.
The cream puffs I ate were soft and moist on the inside while having the light crisp exterior shell with a cream that just melts in your mouth. I had the bakers dozen with the pistachio, strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla which came with thirteen cream puffs for only ten dollars. I know of a bakery in South Philly that charges close to four dollars for only one! NC is not only a steal with prices like that, but the flavors beside vanilla were really the stars, especially the chocolate. Now do not get me wrong, the vanilla was amazing as well and fine on its own, but if you go to NC, you will do yourself a disservice by not getting a mix of flavors.
NC is a nice country sort of place with a down home feeling being in an old farmhouse and just their phone number alone intrigued me, 856-PUF-PUFF. It sounds more like a medical marijuana dispensary than a bakery, but I know I will never forget their phone number and a brilliant marketing strategy. Finding about NC was a treat and I can only imagine how Charlene’s friends and family must have felt when she brought some of her goodies to parties, because if they tasted anything like what I had, she made the right move changing careers for all of us to enjoy what she truly loves to do, making delicious magic cream puffs.
Four out of Five Stars