Paris Mosaic: meet Rémy Lefebvre of bakery Maison Landemaine
There is so much more to Paris than its famous monuments. In fact, one of the things we at MyFrenchLife™ love most about the City of Light are the beautiful artisan businesses that line the city’s streets.
In our view these small businesses and the passionate people behind them are exactly what give Paris its magic and unique charm: les fleuristes, boulangeries, patîsseries, fromageries, et bien sûr, les chocolateries.
Enchanted by their beautiful displays and inspired by their talent and dedication, we’ve brought together the Paris Mosaic series, where we introduce you to the faces behind these Parisian gems.
Maison LandemaineAddress: EDIT check this link for all the addresses.
The rue des Martyrs, outlet has since closed
Opening hours: Tue – Sat: 7am – 8.30pm; Sun: 7am – 8pm
Maison Landemaine is hard to miss, painted a deep shade of red that only a Parisian boulangerie could pull off. Sitting on the corner of the picturesque rue des Martyrs, it’s right at home among the various épiceries, fishmongers and book markets on the street.
Situated in the 9th arrondissement on Paris’ rive droite, where people flock to for the beautiful architecture and the Opéra Garnier, Maison Landemaine is the place to go for rustic bread and pains aux chocolats made from scratch each day.
Coveted by the French and Francophiles alike, Maison Landemaine offers an authentic service à l’ancienne when customers come to buy their daily bread, be it a warm baguette for breakfast or something tasty to pair with their evening cheese.
The bakery is owned by Rodolphe Landemaine, but managed by Rémy Lefebvre, a young man with a passion for traditional French values, which are reflected in the way the shop is run.
On our visit to Maison Landemaine, the queue trails out the door, with businessmen in tailored suits and Frenchwomen carrying wicker baskets all waiting to be served. The shelves are lined with a mix of golden loaves, glistening tartes aux pommes, freshly made sandwiches with a variety of flavoursome fillings, and even home-made hamburgers.
We talked to Rémy to find out what it takes to run an artisan bakery in Paris, and how Maison Landemaine is different from the rest.
What encouraged you to choose this profession and how did you achieve it?
In fact, today, the owner Rodolphe Landemaine owns eight other boulangeries, mostly in Paris – and some of them have a tea salon. He worked with big names during the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France [a competition for craftspeople held every four years].
As for me, I work in the store with a head boulanger, a pâtissier and sales assistants … the people in our team are quite young, between 20 and 30 years old.
The products here are all prepared in the traditional way, and that’s why I chose to work here. Here, you can find traditional French values.
Before, I worked as a salesperson for Picard Surgelés [a French frozen food manufacturer and distributor]. Here, everything is home-made.
In my opinion, the boulangerie’s success is certainly due to the fact that Rodolphe Landemaine makes his breads in the traditional way and that there is a savoir-faire here, like with the croissants, which are made by a tourier on site.
What is your favourite time of the day at work?
When I give advice on traditional bread and when I discuss which cheese goes with which bread. It’s work that requires interacting with people, [as] people often ask for advice.
What is the major factor contributing to your success?
I think that my boss Rodolphe succeeded because his products are simple and of excellent quality and because of the different varieties of bread on offer.
Now, 80% of boulangeries in Paris don’t sell home-made croissants. It’s a pity! Our products are similar to the ones from our grandparents’ time and before that. And without exception, everything is home-made.
Our products are similar to the ones from our grandparents’ time and before that.
We also benefit from a good location. The tourists coming down from Montmartre are always happy to find authenticity – ‘real’ French boulangeries in the purest of traditions.
Do you have an anecdote to share with us about the social aspect of your work?
The social aspect consists of, in so far as possible, preparing orders in advance, especially for regular clients, as well as to ‘recognise’ the client as an individual person. I’m not going to lie, that’s not always easy when there’s lots of people – it’s not possible to chat with each customer for more than a few minutes.
I would also say that the fact that I speak English has been an advantage for winning the loyalty of our foreign clientele.
Which creation are you the most proud of?
At Maison Landemaine, we are very proud of the famous pain d’antan, made out of natural leaven that peasants used to cut into pieces on their chests back in the day. Baguettes weren’t as popular; it wouldn’t have been enough to feed a family, especially as bread was an essential part of the diet.
Do the French still buy special cakes for the Sunday family meal?
Oh, yes! The tartes de dimanche in the little boxes are always popular – tradition is alive and well!
What bread does your family eat everyday?
The two of us would eat one baguette a day but of course I’ll have my favourite, the pain d’antan, whenever I can.
What is your favourite treat from the bakery? Do you like to buy fresh bread each day? Share your bakery habits with us in the comments box below.
Introduction // Le Furet Tanrade // Thalie // La Petite Chocolatière // FJ Fleuriste // Boulangerie Bruno Solques // Rêve // Fromagerie Goncourt // Au-delà des Prés // Le Grenier à Pain // Boulangerie des Artistes // Les Fleurs d’Aline
All images © Justine Goode
maison lendemainecruecdes martyrs est FERMÉE !!
oh no! what a shame – thanks for letting us know