Popular French Pastry Chef Can Stay in Squirrel Hill

Gaby et Jules chef and co-owner David Piquard’s permanent visa had been denied. But he may not have to return to France after all.

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Fans of the colorful macarons from French patisserie Gaby et Jules in Squirrel Hill can rejoice — for now.

The pastries, made by Frenchman and co-owner of the bakery David Piquard, have made Gaby et Jules a Squirrel Hill staple. Piquard’s H1-B visa — which allows U.S. employers to hire foreign workers in specialty jobs —  has been extended until May 2019, Piquard told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. That’s a saving grace for Piquard and his family. His application for an immigrant visa was denied last month, meaning they would have had to leave the U.S. by April 2018 without the extension.

Piquard first came to Pittsburgh in 2004, and returned in 2011 when he received at job offer at East Liberty restaurant Paris 66. After working there for two years with his now business partner Fred Rongier, the pair opened Gaby et Jules. Treats from Gaby et Jules are now sold four different locations outside of the original bakery: the Market Street Grocery downtown, the Whole Foods in Pine, at Pittsburgh International Airport, and at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.

Over the next year and half, Rongier told the PG he and Piquard plan to work with an immigration attorney to apply for a permanent visa under a different category. Rongier, who is still Piquard’s employer at Paris 66, will sponsor him for a skilled worker employment visa.

“David is incredible. He is the best,” Rongier said to the PG. “He should have his green card because he has taught so many people, has brought so much joy to other people.”

Categories: The 412