Our Story

For The Héroux Family, with a French Canadian background, the wondrous scent of crêpes cooking is one of the simple joys of life. The recipe used in their home and now at their restaurants has been passed down through many generations. What makes it special is its versatile ability to translate such a wide variety of foods to the plate. Whether its breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, the crêpe works as the medium to serve you a delicious meal! 

Pierre Héroux’s career path led him and his family to Tokyo, Japan for part of their lives. While they traveled much of the world, including many European and Asian countries, most of their time was spent in the hustle and bustle of the narrow, crowded streets of Tokyo. As the family became more familiar with the varied districts of Tokyo, one common aspect was clear: Small crêpe stands thrived, serving fresh fruit and ice cream filled crêpes!

Traditionally, the Héroux Family served 100% pure maple syrup produced from the family’s own sugar bush in Quebec, Canada. Today, with a strong determination to support local businesses, the pure maple syrup, hidden in many recipes, is used in all Simply Crêpes locations and is produced in New York State. Simply Crêpes is proud to offer other local products throughout the menu, as well a wine list that is heavily filled with grapes grown locally in vineyards around the Finger Lakes Region. The Héroux Family is committed to a quality dining experience in a relaxed and casual environment, with a menu full of fresh, local FLX ingredients. Expect a handcrafted experience that stems directly from the matriarch of our family, Karen Heroux, herself! Her warmth and creativity transcends through our "made from scratch" menu that will have you coming back for more! 

We hope you have fun with our menu and continue to share the Simply Crepes experience with your friends and family - it's why we do what we do.
Feel free to have a look around and please, make yourself at home! 

Our Team

Karen Héroux, Co-Founder/CEO

Karen Heroux, co-founder Simply Crêpes Café, is the visionary of the business. Her passion for food, family and the community transcends through every aspect of the business. Her deep understanding of hospitality and energetic willingness to provide our guests and employees with the ultimate experience is what gives Simply Crepes the warm culture it has today.

Karen has more than 20 years of practical business experience. She previously worked at Wegman’s Food Markets store operations customer service and front end operations and at corporate headquarters finance and collections department.  She has an Associate Degree from Monroe Community College.

Karen serves on the board of the Canandaigua Merchants Association and has been a volunteer for numerous education and civic organizations. 

Pierre Héroux, Co-Founder/CFO/COO

Pierre Heroux, co-founder Simply Crêpes, LLC, which currently operates in three locations around Rochester. He has more than 25 years of practical business experience with a strong background in finance, customer service, international business, quality and manufacturing operations. Mr. Heroux previously worked at Bausch & Lomb and KPMG domestically and internationally.  Mr. Heroux, has a BS in Accounting from Saint John Fisher College and an MBA – New Venture Management and Entrepreneurship from the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester.

Mr. Heroux is currently a director for the New York State Restaurant Association – Rochester Region. He has been making crepes since the age of 12, when he learned the art from his father. The crepe recipe served at the restaurant is an old family recipe passed down through many generations. Mr. Heroux is married, has three children, and resides in Canandaigua, NY.


Nicole H. Williams, Director of Sales & Business Development

Nicole (Héroux) Williams spent her childhood watching in awe, the culinary concoctions filled with fresh ingredients, that her mother created in her kitchen. As a young girl living in Tokyo, she experienced an abundance of Asian flavors and became familiar with the various cooking techniques picked up along their travels. 

When Simply Crêpes, LLC was founded in 2003, Nicole continued to develop her knowledge of food and the restaurant operations while pursuing a higher education at St. John Fisher College. After obtaining a BS in Business Administration in 2006, she moved to Manhattan where she worked amongst Wall Street’s finest at Bear Stearns in Government Trade Operations and J.P. Morgan in Large Corporate Multi-National Cash Management Sales. After eating her way through the boroughs of NYC, her love of food and family ties brought her back to Simply Crêpes in 2009. She managed our Canandaigua location for over five years and has facilitated building the Simply Crepes brand to its current state.

Nicole is currently the corporate director of sales & business development – focusing on new venture opportunities, strategic development, menu/product development, social media marketing and web development. She was nominated for an ATHENA Young Professional Award in 2015, was the 2017/18 Vice Chair and 2019 Chair of American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure Rochester. She currently sits on the Executive Leadership Committee and Community Leadership Board for the American Diabetes Association. Nicole is also a member of the planning committee for the Golisano Children's Hospital annual gala and leads our community involvement programs. 

Michelle Conlon, Director of Human Resources

Michelle (Héroux) Conlon spent her childhood enjoying terrific meals at home with her family as well as traveling the world experiencing different cultures. After wandering through and admiring endless vendor stands at the Shrine Sales in Tokyo, Michelle’s favorite treat was always the fresh fruit and vanilla ice cream crepe stands that appeared at the exit of the Shrine.

The crepe stands of Tokyo were vivid in Michelle’s mind in April of 2003 when she helped create and manage the concession concept of Simply Crepes. Since then, Michelle worked with the company while achieving her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a concentration in Business at the University of Rochester. After graduating in 2008, Michelle held the role of General Manager of Simply Crepes of Pittsford while developing the Simply Crepes Human Resource Department. In 2016, Michelle transitioned into her current position of Director of Human Resources. She focuses on acquiring new talent, the on boarding and training processes and payroll, as well as employee programs, benefits and state and federal regulations.  

Aaron Bolton, Corporate Executive Chef

Aaron's passion for cooking started at a young age as he used to bake with his mother a few times a week.  He was always in the kitchen while she was cooking and would regularly cook breakfast using her Betty Crocker Cookbook. His first job in the industry was at Friendly's. He started off as a dishwasher and was promoted to the lead line cook after 2 weeks on the job, due to his fast pace learning of the job.  He also worked part time at Wegmans in the meat & seafood departments where he learned how to fabricate different meat and fish.  It wasn't until Aaron took a job at Hawthorne’s under John Freezee and Sean Flaherty, that his aptitude for cooking truly blossomed. Under the leadership and creative skillset of these two chefs, he realized his desire to become a chef. He learned multiple cooking techniques and different ways to manipulate food that he never thought possible. 

In 2005, Aaron took a leap of faith, taking a job with Black & Blue Steak and Crab Rochester after they had only been open for 3 weeks. He was promoted to Executive Sous Chef under Chef David Cassidy shortly thereafter.  Under Chef Cassidy, he honed in his cooking style and learned how to organize the BOH properly through ordering, scheduling, proper food cost and maintaining consistent inventory.  In 2008, he opened Black and Blue Buffalo and was promoted to Executive Chef of that location where he learned the trials and tribulations of opening a restaurant.  After 4 years, Aaron was asked to open a new concept for the restaurant group: TRATA an American bistro on steroids.

After 6 years of running TRATA, he was ready for more responsibility and a new challenge. He joined the Héroux Family's Executive Team as Simply Crepes Corporate Executive Chef, managing the kitchens, menu & business development of our multi-unit company-owned chain. We're excited to see the growth of the company over the next several years with Chef Aaron's expertise shining through various facets of the business. 

Benjamin (Ben) Empey, General Manager

Growing up in a culinary enthused family, Ben was on the path for a career in hospitality. While studying culinary arts and marketing, Ben landed his first job at a restaurant as a prep cook. He worked his way up the ladder to later manage a few different kitchens. Growing comfortable with guest and customer service, Ben found the front of house position was where he excelled. He held his first General Manager position at a prestigious restaurant in a suburb of Rochester, NY and after 8 years in the hospitality industry, Ben decided to join the Simply Crepes family. 

After spending just shy of one year learning the ropes and culture of Simply Crepes, Ben settled in as General Manager, overseeing all aspects of the business including but not limited to in house operations, catering and marketing initiatives.


Nick Hawes, Head Chef

As a kid, my father always let me work in the garden; mainly pulling weeds.

Despite my sensational ability to differentiate a weed from a plant, I do also remember freezing our homegrown tomatoes, making our own pasta sauce and canning peaches every year. Little did I know, this was preparing me for a career path I would not have otherwise chose for myself.

For the past 12 years, I have worked in and around some of the great restaurant establishments of Rochester, NY. I believe adding humor and laughter to any recipe are the secret ingredients to working in this industry. No matter the challenge, I find my passion for food and fast-paced environments is just as strong as it was when I began my career. With the support of my loving, and very understanding wife, I am able to enjoy the aroma of the kitchen every day. 

Karen Zurbruegg, Front of House Manager

As a young girl in grade school, I found myself with a love of cooking and pursued every opportunity to learn all I could. I attended Alfred State College where I received an Associates Degree in Food Service Management. As a student I participated in many culinary competitions where my entries won various awards. Upon completing college, I began my professional career in restaurant management with the Marriott Corporation. Not long after gaining skills in the hospitality field, I accepted an offer to work for a retail chain and worked my way up the ladder till I held the position of General Manger and was overseeing large retail operations.

Although I have since gained many years of experience in the management field, I soon became aware that my passion still belonged to the Culinary Arts and longed to returned to it. With the support of a very understanding and loving husband I left my retail profession behind and followed my heart right to the front door of Simply Crepes! There I find myself rekindling the fire I once had for food, wine and most of all the customers who share my hunger for the sweeter things in life. 


Dan Cook, General Manager

Dan began his career in the restaurant industry very early on, while washing dishes at a family establishment in the 1000 Island region in upstate New York. Thus the journey began...

While working towards completing his undergraduate degree at Nazareth College, he moved to the front of the house operations working as a server and bartender at a few different locations around the Rochester area. His passion for bartending took hold and propelled him forward.

Upon completing his undergraduate studies in business and economics, he took a position with a local payroll company, while still bartending part time. After a couple of years, he longed to get out of the corporate grind and was presented with a great opportunity with a local family owned restaurant group, moving him back into the hospitality industry full time. The family opened their third location in 2011, where he took the position of Bar Manager and then General Manager.

In 2014, after 11 years with the same restaurant group, he moved to Charleston, South Carolina to explore new opportunities. He took the position of General Manager in a small family owned gastropub in the downtown historical district. After four years at the helm of the craft-beer themed establishment, he made the difficult decision to move back to New York to be closer to family. Although he was leaving behind many close friends, he was excited for the opportunity to join the family at Simply Crepes!

Outside the restaurant life, he thoroughly enjoys spending time with his two dogs, Jameson & Noelle. He loves the lake and spends as much time as possible on his boat or tries to find as many chances as possible to get out and chase down golf balls. His most favorite past time is spent around a table with family and friends enjoying a meal with a glass of wine or bottle of beer. Come visit and clank a glass with Dan!


Brianna Carlson, Front of House Manager

Brianna enjoys interacting with customers in both a management capacity and as a server. She loves that every day is full of variety and gives her the chance to provide both loyal customers and first timers with stellar service! Her favorite thing about Simply Crepes is the close-knit, family atmosphere both customers and staff experience. 

Brianna graduated from St. Lawrence University in May of 2016 with a double major in Biology and Psychology, and is starting graduate school this fall to pursue a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Buffalo.  She feels that working at Simply Crepes is a perfect fit for her background in psychology-she loves the psychology of creating & cooking, serving, and enjoying food, and how food brings us all together! 

Madelene (Maddie) Alward, Head Chef

Maddie has a wide background in culinary arts and a true passion for the art of creating food and hospitality. Fresh food is important to her, along with supporting local businesses and organizations.

For over 10 years, she has worked various types of restaurants, volunteered, and  learned in a multitude of settings. This includes an internship in North Carolina, Farm to Table and wine studies in Napa valley, and two weeks cooking in southern Italy. Maddie has a bachelor's degree in Culinary Arts and Business Management from The Culinary Institute of America.

Nicole Heroux, Private Event Coordinator


Nicole Heroux spent her childhood watching in awe, the culinary concoctions filled with fresh ingredients, that her mother created in her kitchen. As a young girl living in Tokyo, she experienced an abundance of Asian flavors and became familiar with the various cooking techniques picked up along their travels. 

When Simply Crêpes, LLC was founded in 2003, Nicole continued to develop her knowledge of food and the restaurant operations while pursuing a higher education at St. John Fisher College. After obtaining a BS in Business Administration in 2006, she moved to Manhattan where she worked amongst Wall Street’s finest at Bear Stearns in Government Trade Operations and J.P. Morgan in Large Corporate Multinational Cash Management. Her love of food and family ties brought her back to Simply Crêpes in 2009, where she now holds a role in business development – focusing on new venture opportunities, strategic development, operation management, marketing and event management.

Meredith Faulkner, Kitchen Manager


Nate Haught - General Manager

Nate started his restaurant career at the young age of 14 at The Phoenix Emporium in Elicott City Maryland and found his passion in the industry. Overall, Nate has 30 years of experience in the restaurant business. He has managed many different restaurant concepts in North Carolina and brings a vast amount of knowledge to Simply Crepes. He is passionate about the Simply Crepes values of serving a fresh, quality product with the best possible guest experience!

Nate graduated from North Carolina State with degrees in both Political Science and Sociology. He is happily married, living in Wake Forest and a proud father of three!



Preston Jones - Head Chef

Preston began his journey in the culinary world as a Dish Steward at the Ramada Inn. His passion for food drove him to work in several genres of food establishments, from country clubs to sports bars. He has used every place of employment as an opportunity to learn and perfect his craft.

Preston attended Johnson and Wales Culinary School and sharpened his culinary skills. His new expertise in the field helped him to grow into the management side of the industry. He held the General Manager position with The Egg and I, among other restaurants. In October of 2016, Preston joined the Simply Crepes family as a Line Cook. The management team quickly noticed his leadership and culinary skills and he was promoted to Head Chef only a few short months later. 
Preston’s favorite quote: ”Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.” HENRY FORD