My opinion on Thierry Marx Bakery in Paris
The French bakery sector is definitely moving forward. And fast. Despite a significant overall improvement of bread quality over the last decades, the whole bakery business is threatened by radical changes in customer behaviour. The French younger generation had not been raised with the daily habit of buying a « baguette » so that bakeries are poised to change their business model and retail concept to turn into sandwiches and salad stores.
Some bakeries have also designed « fast casual » concepts with a wider range of fine food options to meet office workers expectations and compete with leading fast-food chains.
Following Alain Ducasse, who was one of the first chef to introduce a few years ago a new concept with BE, both bakery and delicatessen store in partnership with Eric Kayser (a successful french entrepreneur who runs both a French and international bakery network), now it is up to Thierry Marx, a famous and media savvy French chef, to open a new bakery store in a business district of the 8th arrondissement of Paris. Guided tour.
- We get it from the very start. Bread is worshipped here. Like in a fashion or jewel store, some nice items are beautifully showcased in the storefront.
- The branding is stunning. Contrary to Alain Ducasse whose name doesn’t appear in BE store, Thierry Marx fully embodies and supports the bakery branding like Karl Lagerfed does in his own boutiques. Thierry Marx and Karl Lagerfeld have something exceptional in common : they can be sketched easily thanks to physical particularities. Everyone knows Karl’s glasses and ponytail and it comes the same with round and bold face of the french chef. Fantastic opportunity to stand out from the competition and be spotted easily.
- Thierry Mark’s rough portrait is prominent both outside and Inside the bakery. The packaging pays tribute to the chef as well. Moreover, Thierry Marx’s declarations of love for bread are showcased on many boards.
- The presentation of the products is minimal yet refined. I still wonder why some high-end independent bakers don’t focus more on visual merchandising when it comes to showcase their expertise in their own bakeries. I hope Thierry Marx’s initiative here will be inspiring. The quite short range of products helps the visitors to make up their mind quickly. The lighting plays an important role to enhance the product quality.
- Besides a few variety of breads, the bakery features a selection of fancy pastries, salads and sandwiches. For a menu, prices are between 10 to 15 euro, a fair price in Paris for an healthy quick lunch. In case Thierry Marx expands its bakery concept in smaller towns in France, it might be too expensive though. Time will tell.
- Among the sandwiches, Thierry Marx has introduced a true innovation: the breadmakis, a French version of Japanese makis wrapped in bread instead of rice.
- These breadmakis are baked on demand on a dedicated counter, strategically located at the entrance of the store.
- It takes no more than 2 minutes to get your breadmaki ready. Thin slices of bread are toasted, then filled with meat of fish, vegetables and some sauce according to the recipe you picked-up.
- To treat yourself confortably, you will enjoy a small but elegant dining room with a multiple combination of tables and chairs, wether you eat alone or with a group of co-workers. The central table with “scooter-like” chairs is appreciated
To wrap-up this visit, I would point-out that Thierry Marx is taking bakery concept to a next level, introducing both products and merchandising innovations to give birth to a convincing fast-casual new concept. I especially did appreciate the smart branding strategy which helps the store to be easily recognazibled. This could be a competitive advantage in case the brand expands throughout Paris and nationally in a more or less long run.
- If you are interested in bakery concepts, I suggest you take a look to the article I wrote about brutalist“Boulangerie Liberté”
- To read all my previous “embedded experience” articles, click here.