A hugely popular Belgian bakery-cafe complete with a communal dining table at its centre has opened in Toronto.
And if it is a success in Canada, Le Pain Quotidien will locate in other major cities in the future, says founder Alain Coumont of Brussels.
It began in the late 1980s, when Coumont, a chef, owned and operated one of Brussels’ most popular fine dining restaurants.
“When I couldn’t find quality bread to serve to my customers I had to resort to bringing loaves from Paris every day to please the palates of a discerning clientele,” he said. That was so costly that he then decided to bake his own bread.
In 1990, Coumont opened Le Pain Quotidien in downtown Brussels. The business, whose name means “daily bread,” focused on serving the finest-quality fresh-baked loaves along with natural and organic menu items and patisseries.
For the Canadian business, he is using locally produced ingredients. “Any country we are in we try to source the local products,” he says.
Coumont’s first bakery with the hallmark ingredients, including a large communal table where groups can enjoy breakfast, lunch or a light dinner together, is being replicated in franchises in Paris, London, England, New York, Los Angeles and Dubai.
“My philosophy is so simple,” he says. “Use the highest-quality ingredients with an emphasis on organic, create a good daily bread and deliver simple yet sumptuous recipes that let the ingredients shine.”
The first Le Pain Quotidien in Canada is located at 508 Eglinton Ave. W.