Nantes may well be Seattle’s French sister city, but–face it–Nantes doesn’t have the glamor of Paris.
So it’s no big surprise that the old Boulangerie Nantaise bakery in Belltown should hang a new shingle proclaiming itself “La Parisienne.” The bread and pastries are essentially unchanged, but the back-of-the-house has been streamlined and the light-lunch menu simplified.
Plans call for the bakery to be open seven days a week. A crunchy, 10-ounce baguette costs $3.15.
What distinguishes La Parisienne (and its predecessors at the Belltown location) is its organic starter, cultivated in Nantes and carefully nurtured for decades. Originally sold as “Biofournil,” the unfortunate name suggested that founder Jean-Yves Foucher (the most successful organic baker in France) was tone-deaf when it came to marketing> Last year he sold the business to a rival, bread-baker, Michel Galloyer, whose Grenier à Pain shops are all over Paris and the French provinces, as well as Japan, China, and Russia.
Patrick Morin, who was Galloyer’s top pastry chef, was dispatched to Seattle to oversee a complete remodel and rebranding. The entire process, including permitting and construction, took 12 months.