Chelsey Erickson, a proud New Hampshire entrepreneur and business owner, has been a local resident all her life. At just nineteen years old, she started Finesse Pastries’, a French pastry shop located on Elm Street in Manchester.
Now twenty-one, Chelsey continues to build her relationship with customers by bringing fresh and creative ideas to the Greater Manchester New Hampshire region. She is innovative, bold and daring, yet brings “finesse” to each of her creations.
In 2012, during a night out with her parents, Chelsey spotted a lease sign going up at 968 Elm Street in Manchester. Inspiration struck and a dream was started.
Less than two weeks later, her family was by her side renovating. They laid the flooring, stained the walls, and sewed the cushions for the bistro seats, turning an empty space into a charming French escape called Finesse Pastries.
Now when visiting 968 Elm Street, you can’t help putting your phone down and removing yourself from the world as you indulge in Chelsey’s delicate cakes and mouth-watering breads. The aroma of fresh coffee in the air and French music playing softly in the background invites customers to freely come and go, exchanging smiles and laughs, carrying out beautifully branded boxed lunches and pastry boxes.
Chelsey believes that the most enticing part of her job is the collective, creative process of designing a new cake or pastry. “Everyone has input in their areas of specialization. We also rely heavily on the input from the front of the house in helping us adapt to and understand our customers’ needs,” she says.
Chelsey makes regular trips to France to study new trends in the world of pastry. She is always looking for ways to expand and enhance her pastry skills. She hopes to travel the world but knows she will always have a home in NH. She thinks one of the best-kept secrets is the scale model of the Manchester Mills made of Legos at the See Science Center. Chelsey also loves spending time at Lake Winnipesaukee because “it’s so relaxing and beautiful”.
Chelsey daily donates all the food they do not sell to the New Horizons Food Shelter. In addition, Finesse Pastries bakes extra pies for the shelter during the holiday season. “It’s rewarding to see how happy food makes people.”
To learn more, check out an on-air interview with Chelsey on WSMN: “In the Pod with Finesse Pastries” or stop by her shop!