Meeting the man behind Trader Joe’s Chocolate Croissants

The strangest thing happened the other night. I was volunteering at a Beaujolais Nouveau party and Alliance Française de Santa Rosa fundraiser with Jean-Claude and Sabine, when I overheard someone mention Trader Joe’s Chocolate Croissants.

Trader Joe's Chocolate Croissants (pain au chocolat)
Trader Joe’s Chocolate Croissants

I might not have given it another thought, but I’d been taking pictures that night and discovered on the camera some photos Stephanie had taken recently of those very croissants. In her estimation, they are the most accurate pains au chocolat she’s ever had in the US, indistinguishable from her memory of the “real” thing. She had taken pictures of the croissants at each step of the cooking process for an eventual blog post.

Thus I felt compelled to ask the man, “You make the Trader Joe’s Chocolate Croissants?”

“Yes” he said, and introduced himself as Jean-Yves Charon, Founder & Pastry Chef of Galaxy Desserts in Richmond, CA. I went on to tell him, “You’re not going to believe this, but I’ve got pictures of your croissants on my camera,” which of course I showed him, and which I think blew his mind. I learned that he also makes a lemon tart for Trader Joe’s, soon some mini croissants, as well as desserts for the likes of Dean and Deluca and Williams Sonoma—you know those Molten Baby Cake kits? Yup, that’s him.

Justin with Jean-Yves Charon, Founder & Pastry Chef of Galaxy Desserts, makers of the Trader Joe's Chocolate Croissants
Me and Jean-Yves

I’m totally stealing this blog post from Stephanie—with her permission, she said she might do a post in French, if she ever gets a break from dancing. For your mouth-watering pleasure, here are the pictures she took at the various stages of making Trader Joe’s, (I mean, Jean-Yves Charon’s) fabulous chocolate croissants:

Making Trader Joe's Chocolate Croissants (pain au chocolat), step 1
Just out of the box, still frozen
Making Trader Joe's Chocolate Croissants (pain au chocolat), step 2
The next morning, nine hours later
Making Trader Joe's Chocolate Croissants (pain au chocolat), step 3
Fresh out of the oven, 25 minutes later


Oh. My. God.

I’ve been thinking I needed to get the Trader Joe’s Creme Brulée nominated for some kind of convenience food award, but I didn’t realize they had these. Wow.

I am now craving this food in a way I cannot possibly satisfy at 1:30am on a Sunday night. Thanks.

Get thee to a Trader Joe’s! The nearest one to you is on 85 Oakway Center. But you probably already knew that.

Fantastic. Can’t wait for the TJ’s to open in Chapel Hill soon.


Are these the same ones that they sell at Williams-Sonoma at $39.95 for 15? Williams-Sonoma’s are made by Pastry chef Jean-Yves Charon.


Yes, true, these Trader Joe’s Chocolate Croissants are life-changing and they have just rocked my world.

Whenever people ask me about my favorite frozen food, I tell them that the number one spot is currently held by these croissants.

awesome post! these are my new obsession. Thanks for the info on the chef! I just linked to you on my blog, too.


glad i happened upon this post as i was doing a search for croissants made by chef charon. heading to TJ’s this week. thanks!!


I just heard about these and they look like they’ll be in my prego belly real soon! Look amazingly yummy!


Just wondered who makes TJ’s choc croissants, and viola! Shared this post on David Leibowitz’s Facebook.

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