SoMa’s Vive La Tarte is arriving in the Ferry Building on January 18th, bringing photogenic stuffed croissants as well as more traditional pasty to the hallowed food hall. Belgian couple Julie Vandermeersch and Arnaud Goethals co-founded Vive La Tarte in 2011, selling their namesake tarts from a cream-and-orange colored VW Westfalia van before expanding to their large, industrial-chic headquarters at 7th and Howard in 2015. Now they’ll set up a “streamlined” version of the SoMa shop at the Ferry Building in the former Dandelion Chocolate kiosk space next to a stall from Fort Point Beer Company. That’s along the arcade just outside the building’s northern entrance.
“What we really love about SoMa is there’s a real neighborhood vibe,” Goethals tells Eater SF. But after establishing themselves in the neighborhood, he and Vandersmeersch asked, “How can we now reach out to the rest of San Francisco?” Their answer: Expanding to a destination where locals rub elbows with tourists. “[The Ferry Building] is a great mix of audiences, people commuting from the rest of the Bay, [and] people visiting the city,” says Goethals.
On top of tarts and pastry, Vive La Tarte serves more substantial items like avocado toast, muesli bowls, salads, and sandwiches made with their own sourdough. The Ferry Building shop will also serve a new creation: A savory stuffed croissant folded like a taco. For maximum food mash-up portmanteau effect (think cronuts) Vive La Tarte calls that a “tacro.”
“One of the things we’re trying to do with Vive La Tarte is to find that balance between tradition, doing things right.... and making things fun and interesting,” says Goethals. The shop’s stuffed croissants, in seasonal flavors like peaches and cream or strawberry shortcake, are another example. Some ideas like these come from Vive La Tarte’s now 25 employees rather than from the top down. “We want to stay open minded and try things out,” says Goethals.
Vive La Tarte’s new shop will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., serving coffee including Sightglass espresso drinks and concoctions like turmeric lattes and cold brew coffee made with coconut water. After settling in, the team would like to install a patio next to the kiosk, providing a lounging area similar to the bleachers-like stairs seating at their SoMa bakery headquarters. At some point, Goethals might even buy another VW van — the old one broke down after struggling up a hill some time ago.