Ella Madatyan brings the community delectable Armenian treats with a side of hope

  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

When it comes to Armenian culture and its exquisite delicacies, CEO of Papillion Bakery Ella Madatyan, has quite literally discovered the secret sauce to her success. From the sweetest custard filled ponchiks and Nutella bread boats to cheesy potato khachapuri and freshly baked perashki stuffed to perfection with spicy pork, Papillion’s eclectic menu serves as a nod to the rich heritage and offers patrons a modern take on its traditional delights.

Born in Armenia and relocated to America at the young age of three years old, Madatyan was very close with her father and observed him closely as he opened one business after the other in search of achievement and profitability. With unwavering curiosity about how each business was operated, Madatyan began working alongside him and eventually, she attended school for marketing until her father requested that she take over one of his failing ventures—Papillion Bakery. Not only did she gain control of the business, but she used her education and knack for social media to create further awareness and transform one lacking bakery into five.

And they are all thriving.

“We have advantages now that we didn’t have before,” says Madatyan. “We can use social media platforms to engage with our customers, push new products, and get feedback.” With locations throughout Los Angeles and two additional bakeries planned to be opened next year, Papillion has been in business for nearly 15 years and has become a flourishing bakehouse for those seeking to satisfy their sweet and savory cravings while inspiring the community to acquaint themselves with Armenia’s vibrant culinary history.

“The dough is the one thing that differentiates our bakery from others,” she says. “Only two people know the recipe, and that includes myself.” Since its initial opening in 2008, Papillion has gained notable eminence from Hollywood clientele, including Kim Kardashian, and has been featured on Fox News as well as KTLA 5. In addition, the bakery has been awarded a Certificate of Recognition by Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, representing the 46th California Assembly District.

Unlike many other unfortunate business owners, Madatyan’s bakeries thrived during the Covid-19 pandemic, but her former restaurant OG Wingz, suffered greatly. Despite its highly regarded mango habanero pepper sauce and unparalleled customer service, the two Hollywood-based eateries shut down due to the high overhead and diminishing clientele. While she considers this one of the biggest obstacles faced on her road to success, Madatyan never gave up.

While Madatyan genuinely enjoys working and puts her heart into everything she does, she is also a wife, a mother of three children, and is currently on the brink of launching a clothing line to help in launching a non-profit organization for domestic violence victims. Following a very difficult public divorce, Madatyan was able to utilize her platforms to speak out about her experience and quickly became as a support system to other women navigating their way out of harmful relationships.

“Women in my culture are shamed so much for leaving marriages,” she says. “We are supposed to be okay with so much and put up with a lot. It’s embedded in our brains that toxic relationships are normal. My next goal is very important to me. I eventually want a place where women can come and receive the help they need to leave toxic relationships. I want women to know they aren’t alone.”

These days, Madatyan finds herself incredibly motivated by the messages she receives on Instagram from a diversity of women searching for guidance. So, as she continues to franchise her bakeries and open the non-profit, she keeps one big goal in mind: to make the world a sweeter place—with dessert and bringing hope to the younger generation.

This article was written in cooperation with Kimberly Haddad