Far away from Paris « hipsterized » districts, there is, near the Place de la Nation, a very uncommon bakery, a bakery like no other, which could inspire small businesses that complain about supermarkets stealing their customers. The place is so small the word bakery doesn’t really apply. In fact, it looks more like a lab or a kitchen. The place is called Bricheton (which means good bread in old Parisian slang) and is located on rue de la Réunion. Very remote. Yet, it deserves to be mentioned because it has a lot to teach.
Let’s talk first about its style. There is no attempt to mimic old-style bakeries, with their tiles and chromos, so much sought after and photographed by Asian tourists during their 2CV tour of Paris. No, here, there’re only an oven, a kneading machine (handmade with beech wood), a counter-height table and that’s all. As close from reality and necessity as possible. The bread is also completely different: only old farmhouse-style made from heirloom wheat, for only healthy and nutritious bread, that support small local farming. No regular French baguette, no bread with a marketed name found during a brainstorming session. An original bread that reconnects with ancient traditions, a dough kneaded by hand, a long fermentation process, local farm flour and levain. Bricheton’s rare opening times also differ from regular bakeries’: the place is open only four days a week, from 5pm to 8pm. Don’t miss it and be patient…
Bricheton in a nutshell: a limited production supporting hand-made and ethical values, a purely functional place without any artificial story-telling, restricted opening times. Bricheton is a sustainable model (so the founders say) and an inspiring one which takes the opposite view of the (so-called) current standard of permanent availability and hyperchoice. Better still, Bricheton does not take someone else’s place and especially not the traditional bakeries’ which stay at the heart of their district social life, thanks to the amplitude of their opening hours.
Reinventing the rules of a market is being able to create a new space within.