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THEYRE STANDING IN LINE Bakery open 2 days a week, has loyal following
Proprietor of Le Croissant Bakery, Botha Walters, is something of an icon with her customers. The bakery located just across from the Manteca Post Office on Maple Avenue in downtown Manteca. She is known for her unique breads and pastries like this pan of Jalapeo Cheese Bread she is holding. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The 209

Manteca’s Le Croissant Bakery is unique in many ways from its breads and pastries to its offerings at a number of farmers’ from Stockton to Pinole.  It’s not hard to find nestled in the center of a string of businesses across from the city’s main post office in the 100 block of North Maple Avenue.

Despite the fact Botha Walters is open only two days each week from 8:30 4:30. p.m. her popularity has spread through the community and her faithful returning customers patiently wait for the next Wednesday to roll around to get their supply of her baked favorites.  With added staff she hopes she can open her doors two additional days in the near future, Tuesday and Thursday.  Now she is only open on Wednesday and Friday.

She has been in the world of baking since Aug. 9, 2004.  She has recently added Cece Aldana, formerly of Peru, to her staff.

In the summer months – with the help of her two sons, Ricky 23, and Ryan 19 – she takes her business to distant Farmers’ Markets in Walnut Creek, Concord, Pinole, Stockton, Clayton and Manteca.  Botha said she does more business in those four hours at the market places when her boys are home from college than she does all week long at her shop.

A police officer at one of her Farmers Markets in the Bay Area asked her what the people were doing all lined up – were they picketing?  She told him they were just waiting to get their freshly baked bread she was offering.   That line stretched across the street, she said.

The busy Stockton market is held every Sunday in the Weberstown mall on Claremont Avenue and March Lane.  On Saturdays, her sons run the markets in Clayton and in Pinole.

The ovens were busy Thursday afternoon getting ready for the demand at today’s market sales.

“I like to see people come into the shop for a cup of coffee and a pastry,” she quipped.  If you have consistency to the community, they will keep coming back.  You have to have a love for what you are doing,” she said.  “It’s a passion.”

The display case in her small shop contains everything from turnovers to ham and cheese sandwiches, veggie bagels, Jalapeño cheese bread and chocolate croissants.

The bakery also offers catering services and deliveries as well as advance phone orders.  Botha can be reached at the shop number of (209) 416-9032 or her cell at (209) 416-9101.