Baguettes are making a come back


After much study, he has determined that the old business model simply doesn’t work anymore. “The real estate would cost 400,000 euros, and then they had to buy equipment, so by the time they opened, the average boulanger was 800,000 euros in the red,” he said. “They then would be working 20 hours a day because they couldn’t afford to hire anyone to help them, and still, they had trouble turning any profit.”

He plans to get around that problem by shrinking each store, reducing the number of people needed to run it, buying ingredients centrally to enhance the shops’ bargaining power and limiting the number of products sold. “To try to make profit, boulangers were trying to sell anything and everything, instead of trying to sell more of the things people really want — the baguettes des copains, the ficelles, the boules,” Mr. Rigo said.

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