Eric Brunet, owner of Le Bon Panneton, combines the best qualities of artisanal baking - respect for quality and tradition - with a keen business sense. During my visit he explained in depth how the life of the baker has changed, and how product offerings have evolved in response to changes in taste and demand. His team works like a well-oiled machine, seamlessly moving around each other in the crowded space below the shop upstairs.
Emmanuel arrives each morning at 4AM to begin baking the day's breads. He uses a machine to make the regular baguettes:
But the "Traditional" baguette is formed entirely by hand and from a different recipe:
Whole grain breads are popular now. Eric puts the finishing touches on several varieties before putting them into the oven.
Beyond bread and pastry products, the Brunets have added sandwiches and salads for the takeaway lunch crowd. Wife Mireille manages sales of the finished products.
If you come to Paris, you can find Le Bon Panneton on the corner of rue Saint Charles and rue de l'Eglise in Paris' 15th arrondissement. Tell them I sent you!