La Madeleine French Bakery & Café was founded in 1983 by Patrick Esquerré, a Loire Valley-born businessman. With the advice and support of legendary retail magnate Stanley Marcus, of Neiman Marcus fame, and his mother, Monique, Esquerré opened his first bakery in Dallas, TX near Southern Methodist University. Now, more than 70 locations nationwide serve handcrafted, crave-worthy country French-inspired dishes cafeteria style for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. La Madeleine buildings are designed to resemble restaurants found across the French countryside. Farm tools and impressionist paintings hang on the walls and the restaurants are known for keeping a fire burning in winter.