Dear Le fournil,
This might be rather forward, but I would like tell you how much I appreciate what you do. You see, stepping into a French bakery for the first time was a transformative experience for me.
I remember it vividly.
It was September in Paris, and I walked into the local boulangerie/pâtisserie. For a Canadian prairie girl, it was hard to take it all in (this being well before hipster coffee shops and bakeries took off).
From the baskets of rustic sourdough (pain au levain) and decorative baguettes (épi) on the wood shelves, to the mesmerizing display of glazed fruit tarts (tartelettes) and sculptural delights like the glossy Gâteau au chocolat behind the glass, I stumbled through my order of a croissant and a café au lait.
It was then that I first fell in love with the seductive earthy aromas, the gentle clatter of cups and plates, and the edible works-of-art that are hand-crafted daily by artisans in the embracing warmth of the bakery ovens.
Admittedly, terms like “hand-crafted” and “artisan” are everywhere these days, to the point where they have almost lost their meaning, but the breads and pastries at Le fournil ARE works of art.
Just like the first time, the gentle shatter of a buttery croissant gives way to whispery soft, airy layers that transport me back to Paris, to my wide-eyed wonder at the miracle that is the art of French baking, and to the simple joy it brings to the quotidian act of servicing one’s hunger.
Now, a parent of two small children, my joy is multiplied as they press their faces against the glass (sorry, Pascale!), their eyes wide and sparkling, and their sweet chirpy voices exclaiming “I want that one!”, closely followed by, “No, no, I want THAT one!”. Having come full circle, and thanks to Le fournil, I can now share this love affair with my two girls.
To Pascale, Jenna, and Rayleen: Thank you for your vision and the artistry you bring to our lives.
To Le fournil: Je t’aime.