In the wake of many changes sweeping through Europe and its lifestyle, French cuisine is no exception.
Parisians don’t have the time to run to the bakery twice a day like they used to. The small bakeries around the city are closing as people adopt the American or British grab-and-go desk lunches at the office.
An adventurous baker didn’t see that change as a threat to his business but rather an opportunity. He thought hard about ways to preserve the quality of the bread while dispensing them at customers’ convenience. The result? His baguette dispenser has sold 1,600 baguettes the opening month in January, and 4,500 in July.
Jean-Louise Hecht, owner of multiple bakeries in Paris and Hombourg-Haut in northeastern France, first got the idea for baguette vending machine as he dealt with customers who would chase him down at his apartment above the shop for fresh baguettes after hours. With many trials and errors, Hecht built a machine that turns precooked bread into steaming baguettes.
Some critics worry that this vending machine will catch on and that the traditional French way of cooking would disappear.
The sad thing is that they will probably catch on and everyone will be using them soon. That will mean the end of the traditional boulangerie,” Jean-Luc Avel told the Telegraph.
Hecht certainly disagrees. “This is the bakery of tomorrow,” he told the AP. “If other bakers don’t want to enter the niche, they’re going to get decimated.”