22 July 2019

Modern artisan bakery

In order to keep up with industrial bakeries, artisan bakers are relying on high quality local raw products and modern shop designs to satisfy the new health and environmental expectations of French consumers. 

In 2018, the number of bakery shops in France dropped below 30,000 according to CHD Expert, a far cry from the 50,000 shops in the 60s. The sector is facing a crisis due to the development of industrial bakeries and franchises. In February 2019, Estelle Lévy, founder of ‘Estelle Lévy Artisan Conseil’ – a consultancy specialised in commerce for the food service trade - explained to magazine ‘Les Échos’  “Artisan bakers need to rethink their operations. In the more rural areas some are relying on super local ingredients while in the urban areas the offering is modernised to include bio and fresh products’. A strategy adopted by an increasing number of bakers who are keen to stand as artisans for bread that is healthy, good for the consumers and our planet. One example is Parisian bakers Bo&Mie, a “creative bakery” that works with natural yeasts and local flour sourced from millers Moulins de Chars (Val-d’Oise) and certified Label Rouge. In Lyon, bakeries Chez Victor also state: “We adopt a quality approach both for the products and the service” says Félicien Delzeux, founder of the brand. Local and seasonal products, reduced packaging, preference for local producers, encouraging apprenticeship … these preoccupations are at the heart of the company’s commitments. 
Increased awareness is also notable in rural areas. Fournil des Tortues, Pain de l’Épi sauvage, Les Quatre Roux… In the Creuse department for example many “new bakers” highlight artisan know-how and skill by working with natural yeast, leaven and varied local flours including spelt, wheat, rye, in order to let their customers (re)discover the flavours of good bread. 

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