Our Family's Heritage
Latour is a family owned food service company. Our owners are siblings: Joumana, Randa, and Naji Toubia. We were born in Beirut, Lebanon. Our family moved to the United States shortly after our brother, Latour’s founder Antoine Toubia, decided to move at the beginning of Lebanon’s civil war.
We grew up in a large family. Our father was in government service and the family entertained guests frequently. Our mother, Alice, was a wonderful cook and hostess. The whole family participated in the process of entertaining guests - hospitality, Lebanese style. Hospitality is part of Lebanese culture. In fact, it is part of the culture throughout most of Europe and the Middle East.
If a stranger were to knock on your door, would you graciously invite them in and offer food and drinks without even knowing their name? This is hospitality from the heart. This is how our family grew up. This is Latour Hospitality.
The story of Latour starts with its founder, Antoine Toubia. Antoine was the first of his family to move to the US from Lebanon in 1970, just as civil war was escalating in his home country. He took his cooking skills to kitchens in New York and Kansas City and quickly established a reputation. Antoine moved to Wichita in 1974 to become head chef at Crestview Country Club. His siblings soon followed him from Lebanon and worked with him at Crestview. In 1979, Antoine and his family made a courageous decision to open their first restaurant, the Olive Tree.
The Olive Tree “redefined the community's expectations for fine dining," as longtime Eagle restaurant writer Diane Lewis wrote after Antoine’s death in 1996. The Olive Tree has been recognized with some prestigious awards throughout the years; including the Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for offering an outstanding wine list; The DIRONA award of excellence from Distinguished Restaurants of North America, a once-in-a-restaurant-lifetime-achievement-award; and the first AAA Four diamond awards for a restaurant in Kansas.
Today, Olive Tree Catering is Latour's one stop shop for all catering services; from weddings to private parties to corporate events. Over the last forty years, we've had the pleasure to host almost every type of event one can imagine. The Olive Tree is the exclusive caterer for Hotel at Old Town, and the Wichita Art Museum, and even has its own venue for parties of any size, up to 350 people.
Shortly after their marriage, Naji and Claire Toubia teamed up with Antoine to open Bagatelle Bakery in 1983. Bagatelle was opened with the purpose of providing fresh bread and pastries to all Latour operations, a responsibility it still upholds. Bagatelle has grown into a community gem and is perennially recognized as the top Bakery in Wichita by the Wichita Eagle. Bagatelle's mission is to provide Wichita with the pleasures of the European bakery experience that the Toubia family adored growing up abroad.
In the late ‘80s, Latour began partnering with local organizations, schools, and hospitals to provide food services; including current long-time active partnerships with the Kansas Heart Hospital and Wolf Creek Power Plant. In 2009, Latour was approached by the Wichita Art Museum with the task of transforming their café, this gave birth to the Muse Café. The Muse is home to new American cuisine, served in a beautiful atmosphere. The Wichita Eagle proclaimed that the Muse "is among the most well-staffed and atmospherically appropriate restaurants in Wichita".
Our 40-year history is something to be proud of, but more importantly, something to learn from. We’re only as good as the last meal we served. Our mission has always been to exceed our guests expectations by providing genuine hospitality. Genuine hospitality is a sincere extension of the best of ourselves. This is why we wear our hearts on our sleeve, why we cook with love, why we serve with love. We lay it all on the line, so our guests can leave feeling as a part of our family.