A popular pastry chef dropped the c-bomb in a rant at a customer after she complained that her A$102 (NZ$104) worth of specialty croissants had gone "sour".
A Sydney pastry chef has apologised for calling a customer a "c***" in a foul-mouthed attack after she complained that $102 worth of cream-filled croissants were "sour".
John Ralley, owner of the popular Textbook Patisserie in Alexandria — which has more than 40,000 followers on Instagram — described the outburst as an "unfortunate event" and said there was "no excuse".
The woman, who asked not to be named, said she had been a "loyal customer" for several years.
"I go back every year during truffle season to buy their truffle croissants," the 28-year-old said.
After seeing an Instagram post about them last Thursday, she went in to buy six at once so she could put some in the fridge. "Each of them cost $17, I spent $102," she said.
"When I brought the croissants back to work I realised the flavour was a bit sour, but I didn't really think about it. I put it back in the fridge overnight, when I ate it the next day I realised the custard was really sour, like yoghurt sour."
She messaged Textbook Patisserie on Instagram and says she was told "they freshly bake their products every day and don't recommend to keep it for the next day".
The woman said she should have been told, given she was buying six at once, but Textbook Patisserie replied that she should have asked.
"I think it's quite ridiculous (their) croissant is $17, I spent over $104 and it goes off in one day," she said.
In Instagram messages, she wrote, "Custard should last around two days at least isn't it. The reason I bought six in one go is because I purchased it every year and this is the first time I had it sour."
She added, "I will make sure I spread the words and no one should suffer from expensive sour croissants thanks."
Mr Ralley replied, "I was going to offer your money back but if you want to be a c*** about it f*** off."
The woman wrote, "Lol u could have offered this straight away and also an apology would be nice. Nice attitude, good luck."
In an email, Mr Ralley said he would personally apologise to the woman and "make sure she is reimbursed".
"This was an unfortunate event, which shouldn't have ended the way it did," he said.
"The customer in question left cream-filled croissants out of the fridge for two days and then took to Instagram to complain about the cream being sour."
Mr Ralley said Textbook Patisserie was a small business and took "pride in every product we make".
"I personally make every one of the 300-400 'special' croissants we bake every weekend and try every ingredient to make sure it tastes right," he said.
"This was also the case with the creme patisserie in the croissant, which wasn't sour at the time we sold the product. Like with every cream-based product, they shouldn't be left out at room temperature for more than a day."
He said all of his customers were happy with their croissants that weekend "so I was surprised to read her message on Instagram".
"I responded to her initial message to say we didn't think this was the case as we taste everything, but the customer kept messaging us about how disappointed she was," he said.
Textbook Patisserie's policy is to offer customers a refund if they are not satisfied, "which I was going to tell her when she threatened to spread the word about our bad croissants".
"While I shouldn't have reacted the way I did, this really upset me when I read it as I take so much pride in our products," he said.
"There is no excuse to my reaction but this message came at the end of a 15-plus hour day in the bakery (and 80-plus hour week) and I just lost my cool."