Handmade Crepes Found in Downtown Franklin

Delicious breakfast and lunch crepes

By Susan Chase
A first-time customer, who also admitted to being a first time crepe-eater, chats with Downtown Crepes owner Louise Nylander during a slow moment.

The motto on the website for Downtown Crepes, located at 42 Franklin Street in Franklin, is, “You Might Love Them.” And I did, when I stopped recently to investigate this small, charming shop just off Central Street in downtown Franklin that I’d been curious about. I loved both the crepe I ate for a late breakfast, the really good cup of coffee, and the ambience.   

Sweet, savory, and breakfast crepes are on offer, along with homemade macarons, tea, hot chocolate, milkshakes, and smoothies, all to eat in or take out. Downtown Crepes opened two years ago, although owners Louise and Joel Nylander have lived in Franklin for six years, transplants from the west coast.   

When I inquired as to why crepes, Louise, who is the crepe maker, coffee brewer, and all-around chief cook and bottlewasher, said she’d grown up in England and spent a lot of time in Brittany, becoming familiar with crepes and French cooking there. After running a big restaurant and then focusing on other endeavors for a few years, the idea of starting a small food shop appealed to her, once she and Joel had settled in Franklin.  While Joel helps with the financial side of the business, and with the major renovation of the space they needed to do, Louise says, “I live here,” and it’s clearly her baby.

As I ate my breakfast crepe and debated about what kind of savory crepe I’d try next time, customers who were obviously regulars drifted in for a cup of coffee, to chat, and to buy one of the reusable coffee mugs that ensures a discount when you bring it back for a refill. The shop is cozy, with small tables for eating-in, as well as a couple of comfy chairs, books for browsing, and historic photos of Franklin on the wall, along with information on the large numbers of French-Canadians who immigrated to this area to work in the textile mills a century and longer ago.  

So if you’re looking for a place to meet a friend for breakfast or lunch, or to linger over a cup of coffee while you read, I’d suggest you try Downtown Crepes. You might love them.