World Traveler Celeste Parins Sets Up Shop–Voyageurs Bakehouse–in Hometown Green Bay


Frannie Wied, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Celeste Parins, a Notre Dame Academy alumni and co-owner of Voyageurs Bakehouse, has found her passion of baking and entrepreneurship through travel and has brought this love back to Green Bay. 

While at NDA, Parins was a very involved student. She participated in volleyball, the winter musical, soccer and Student Governmentl. 

After graduating from high school, Parins was still unsure about what her future would hold. She attended the University of Minnesota and received a Bachelor’s of Individualized Study with a minor in French. This is a degree that allowed her to explore a plethora of career paths and opportunities, specifically in economics, marketing and global studies. 

“It’s a unique degree because I was one of those people that didn’t have a strong clarity on where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. That degree was really awesome for me because I basically chose three majors, but you don’t have to do the entire credit load,” said Parins.

During her junior year of college, Parins lived in Paris where she first got the taste for the travel bug. She says that it set the trajectory for the next decade of her life. 

“It was this massive move for me, but it was really eye-opening to see like, ‘oh my gosh,’ there’s a whole big world out here,” said Parins. 

The year in Paris left Parins inspired – from the different cultures to living outside of her comfort zone–and it opened her eyes to what the world had to offer. 

It was from here that Parins got involved with AIESEC, a student-led organization that provides young people with volunteer opportunities and internships. Soon after she finished her year in Paris, she moved to Oman for an internship. 

“I had to drag myself to come back to the U.S to finish my senior year,” said Parins. 

Parins wasted no time after graduating from college, saying she was ready to go out and see the world. She found another internship and moved to Malaysia. What was meant to be a six-week internship turned into a four-year stay! 

“It was kind of one of those things where I somewhat did a spin of the globe and put my finger on somewhere. I honestly didn’t even know exactly where Malaysia was,” said Parins. 

From there, she kept following new opportunities, no matter where in the world they were. She spent two years in Thailand, two and a half years in Hong Kong, and finally two years in Australia. 

“My career path was very much defined by the early experiences that I had there (Malaysia). I was young when I started this journey, and it helped me realize that I can go anywhere or do anything,” said Parins. 

During her journey across the world, she met her husband and eventually had a baby on the way, which led her back to Green Bay. 

“If I’m totally honest, I thought I would never come back to Wisconsin, let alone Green Bay, and maybe never even the U.S.,” said Parins. 

Family is what ultimately drew her back to Green Bay. She felt a need to be closer to home, and so she wrapped up her career in Australia and made the move. 

Becoming an entrepreneur was always a dream for Parins, and she and her husband felt that there was an opportunity for that in Green Bay. 

Parins didn’t have a background in the culinary industry but her drive and passion for entrepreneurship stemmed from the global and exciting experiences that she had around the world. This was something that she wanted to share with Green Bay. Parin’s husband, Ben, grew up with culinary experience as his dad was an executive chef for large hospitality chains. 

After searching for high-quality sourdough bread and other pastries without any luck, Parins thought that there might be opportunities in that area. They first tested their products at farmers’ markets in the area, but that was only the beginning. 

“We took a dive into it,” said Parins. 

They opened Voyageurs Bakehouse on March 10, 2020, and the rest was history. Since then, they have recently opened up a second location in Appleton. 

“Everything has so drastically changed in two years, so it’s pretty amazing,” said Parins. 

As for the future, their ultimate vision is to expand throughout Northeast Wisconsin. They have goals to create and share as many products as they can with as many communities as possible. A key aspect to Voyageurs is buying and sourcing products locally, and this is something they don’t plan on stopping. 

“It drives back to us wanting to create and share this product with as many communities as possible. We believe we can play an important role in helping to continue to drive the local economy through,” said Parins.  

When asked if she had any advice for future entrepreneurs, Parins had an impactful answer.

“Know your ‘why’ and create that ‘why’ in a way that allows you to create positive impacts in your neighborhood. Think of how you can create a positive impact in your corner of the world,” she said.