La Jolla’s Girard Gourmet always a hit

Girard Gourmet puts lots of “home” in everything served at the La Jolla eatery.

“We call it, ‘From our garden to your plate,’ ” said Francois Goedhuys about the wholesome and very personal style of quality food and good humor he and wife Diana have served for 24 years at their 7837 Girard Ave. establishment.

The restaurant prides itself on the organically grown produce coming from the couple’s gardens in Julian and La Jolla that recycle materials making the farming and retail aspects of the business mutually supportive.

Francois said they have changed with the times.

“We started out more as a bakery, but now we’re using more and more of what we grow in our own cooking,” said the Belgian-born baker. Now, he added, the emphasis is more on the freshness and naturalness of the food.

One example is the 40 or 50 fresh salads made daily at Girard Gourmet topped off with Francois’s yummy homemade dressings.

Girard Gourmet is more involved now with catering.

“We do a tremendous amount of business lunches and breakfasts,” said Diana. “Were out the front door and the back door. A lot of people don’t know how extensive our catering is.”

Catering accounts for about 25 percent to 30 percent of the business, including lunches daily for 150 students at the San Diego French American School on Mt. Soledad, Diana said. They also serve numerous La Jolla churches and institutions, including the Athenaeum and La Jolla Historical Society.

What Diana likes best is being part of the community and giving back “in any way that we can showing appreciation for La Jollans’ supporting local businesses and what a difference that makes to the life of the community.”

Francois has a well-deserved reputation for the distinctive designer cookies he makes for special occasions.

“After 24 years, the hobby has turned into a specialty,” he said.

What he likes best is “being in charge of production,” he added as he served up another of his specialties, a strawberry-rhubarb pie right out of the oven.

A restaurant remodel has added a spacious, easily accessible bathroom for the comfort of patrons.

For more information call Girard Gourmet at (858) 454-3321 or visit