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Breaking Bread with The French Baker

This week, we would like to introduce you to The French Baker (Le Boulanger Français), an authentic French bakery located in Byward Market (119 Murray Street), and the supplier of our much loved Viennoiseries!

Please introduce yourself and The French Baker.

My name is Scott Adams, and I am the owner of the French Baker. Our company was founded in 1995, so we're celebrating our 27th year this year. We have a small bistro also called Benny's Bistro, which is an award-winning bistro. We've been fortunate enough to also have the bistro for 22 years, so the business is kind of divided in between those two those two internal businesses.

Image of the front facade of The French Baker storefront. The building is painted medium grey, with a cyan blue canopy extending into the sidewalk from over the windows. The double entry doors are painted bright red.

The focus of the bakery is providing and curating an experience that's comparable to what you could expect when you go to a bakery in France. We have professionals trained, and we source ingredients as much as we can from France. Our oven is imported originally from France. The goal is to actually do a French bakery - one that you would find anywhere in any city in France.

The bakery at least is primarily composed of four different components. We make bread, obviously. Our bread is made using the old techniques, so this includes no sugar, no fats, and no preservatives. Our bread develops its flavor using techniques that require slow ferments, so very little yeast. We uselevain, which is a sourdough starter, to give the bread its great crunch, texture, chew, aroma, and flavor.

A(nother) big component, maybe the biggest part of our business, is our Viennoiserie. This includes croissants and other things that you have at Haven. We have at least 10 different ones that we make every day.

We also do Pâtisserie, which is like pastries. So all of the classic French cakes, tarts and tartlets.

Copyright: Alexis Zeville

 And then another big part of my business is that we import specialty products from France that we sell as grocery items in the bakery. So this includes anything, from cookies, to jams, pickles, olive oil - all of those things that people who have been to France or people that lived in France are nostalgic for. Including candies - we have a section of French candies, which is kind of a strange but very typical thing in a French bakery. They have a little candy section for kids when they come in.

What are the must try items at The French Baker?

Ourcroissant is very famous. In Ottawa, we have a very good reputation [for our croissant]. We actually had a write-up in the New York Times about our croissant, so that's pretty cool, you know. People are recognizing that it's the real deal!

It doesn't necessarily look like a croissant that you might see, or a hipster croissant that's perfectly layered one thousand times. Our croissant is bread, and it's meant to be treated as that. We use whole butter for our croissant, and it's rolled and baked by professionals. The difference is that you get a really fluffy, chewy texture. For me, flaky on the outside and chewy on the inside is a perfect croissant.

Copyright: Alexis Zeville

Get a taste of The French Baker’s signature croissant and other Viennoiseries at Haven!
  • Butter Croissant: $3.25
  • Pain au Chocolat: $3.50
  • Cinnamon Roll: $3.50
  • Apple Turnover: $3.50