• Hoboken Girl of the Week: Clemence Danko of Choc O Pain Bakery

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    If you live in Hoboken or Jersey City, chances are you’ve paid a visit {or two, or three…} to one of Choc O Pain’s FOUR locations for a little slice of heaven {or flourless chocolate cake or a chocolate-filled croissant}. And no, this isn’t a chain bakery – it’s just thaaat popular that it’s expanded four-fold, and started by a Hudson County resident. The face behind the popular French bakery is Clemence Danko, our Hoboken Girl of the Week. Read on to learn more about her, her passions, the business, and some of her local favorites.

    About Choc o Pain, According to Clemence

    My business is Choc O Pain French Bakery and Café, we provide to our communities authentic French freshly baked goods like sourdough bread and croissants (viennoiseries) as well as fruit tarts, but also sandwiches, quiches, soup and salads and of course amazing coffee and tea in a warm Parisian atmosphere. We have been opened since 2012 in Hoboken and have now 4 locations in Hoboken and Jersey City.

    clemence choc o pain bakery

    On Her Biggest Source of Inspiration

    My biggest source of inspiration is certainly my mom and my grandmothers who is/were amazing cooks mostly, bakers at times (1,000 times better than I am!!).

    What Keeps Her Motivated + What Keeps Her Up at Night

    What motivates me is to succeed in providing a very high quality and authentic French baked good/dishes to my guests.

    What keeps me up at night is too have over 60 employees as part of my staff, it’s a lot of responsibilities…

    Goals + Passions

    After opening 2 locations in 8 months, including our production facility, this year we are trying to streamline our 4 locations, both staffing and training wise as well as implementing quality control procedures. We are passionate about the quality of our products and ensuring the consistency of same.

    clemence choc o pain bakery

    Clemence and Mayor Steven Fulop of Jersey City

    Typical Day in the Life

    I usually wake up around 6:30 am and work a bit before getting the kids (my daughter is 5 and my son 7) ready for school, this means including lunch boxes (… as I don’t think school lunch is meeting my expectations for my kids… that’s a subject I could speak about for hours…then I usually head to our production facility in JC Heights where we have offices.

    I often have meetings with my management team through the week, sometimes some meetings with suppliers or customers (we do wholesale business with specialty stores, coffee shops, restaurants…). I try to visit each store once every week.

    My days are always busy with lots of emails and texts, a few situations to fix… then I meet my kids at the park around 6:00 pm where they will play until we go home to have dinner with my husband Laszlo. After the kids go to sleep I usually continue working a bit, emails never stop, but I also enjoy some quality relaxing time with my husband. We rarely go to bed before 10:30 – 11:00 pm.

    Overall I feel very lucky to be in a position where I can take care of my kids morning and night and stay home with them if they need me. I realize not a lot of working parents can do that.

    Choc o pain bakery hoboken jersey city

    READ: Choc O Pain French Bakery Opens 4th Location {in Hoboken}

    Highlight of Her Career {So Far}

    Definitely when we won the Best Baguette in NYC award in 2016 and Best Croissant in 2018 (public choice, a competition organized by French Morning).

    I was also very honored to be awarded by my French Business School for my international path this year.

    What a Day Off is Like

    I spend time with my husband and my kids, we really enjoy Hoboken, the park and some good places for brunch. We also go sometimes to Manhattan to spend the day there and discover some new places.

    Advice to Someone Trying to Pursue the Same Career Path

    Go for it! Also, I would say it’s great but its tough, it’s a stress non-stop, but there are those very rewarding moments from staff and customers that make it really great!

    clemence choc o pain bakery

    Hoboken + Jersey City Favorites

    What is your favorite restaurant in Hoboken or Jersey City?

    So many, it’s a tie between Barbes and Sorrelina in Hoboken. In JC between Satis, Ani Ramen, and Hooked JC that we recently discovered…

    What is your favorite boutique in Hoboken?

    Viola Vita (Washington and 12th), I used to love Aaraa.

    What do you love most about Hoboken?

    I love how we can walk everywhere in Hoboken and how beautiful and rich the city is.

    What is your favorite thing to do in Hudson County?

    In general, enjoying the waterfront, Liberty State Park is also a contender.

    See More: Hoboken Girl of the Week: Kerry of Love Locked 

    How long have you lived and worked in Hoboken?

    I’ve lived in Hoboken for 9 years, my first bakery opened 6.5 years ago.

    What is your favorite outdoor place to spend time in Hoboken or Jersey City?

    Due to the age of my kids and the proximity to our house, Church Square Park in Hoboken…;), also I love running or strolling on the waterfront.

    What is your favorite place to work out in Hudson County?

    Align Pilates Hoboken (on 4th and Bloomfield)

    Where do you go out with friends in the area?

    In the previously mentioned restaurants as well as Antique, Pilsener Haus, Halifax.

    What is something you think needs to come to Hoboken or Jersey City? (ex. Type of restaurant, business, etc)

    We definitely need a public swimming pool. Type of restaurant: a good Korean restaurant would be great

    Thanks for chatting with us, Clemence! Stay tuned to see who we feature next week <3

    Want to be featured or nominate someone as an upcoming Hoboken Girl of the Week?

    Email hello@hobokengirl.com about your/her story.

    Have you joined our Facebook group yet? Request here to gain access to even more local tips, and connect with fellow Hudson County residents.


    Written by:

    Briana is a born-and-raised Hoboken Girl who embraces both the new and old aspects of the Mile Square. She’s a freelance writer, works in social media, and more importantly (but not really) — a cat lover and total foodie. When she’s not working, she can be found convincing herself to buy something at Sephora or Target, eating mussels with her fiancé at Leo’s, or planning her next Disney vacation.


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