Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What luck for rulers that men do not think.





The bakers wife in a bleak mood this morning. The local grocery store, which used to be run by a elderly lady who opened  at nine and closed at five, has been taken over by a big supermarket chain. The ( now much improved ) store has started to open at six and close at ten. They've also started selling croissants and baguettes at prices the bakers can't match. End result , in the month the new store has been open, the 'traditional' bakers sales have fallen by 35%. 

France managed to keep these small family concerns going long after they'd disappeared in the US and the UK.  Sadly, the march of history is now catching up with them. The bakers wife sighs and gives Bob and Sophie some small pieces of crust. These are gratefully received. We return home with six croissants, two baguettes, two chocolate tarts and a pain au cereale. Sophie, who has put back on one of the kilos she recently lost, shows great interest in the croissants.





14 comments:

  1. Silly, I suppose, to hope there was one corner of the Western world immune from these global forces.

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  2. The really sad thing is the fickle nature of the customers.
    I'm sure the bread and croissants will be inferior to the local baker's - this was certainly the case with the supermarket ones we occasionally bought. But people feel they have to buy the cheapest, even if they can really afford something better.
    Then they will be grumbling when another local shop is closed and the character of the village is changed for ever.
    It is the policy of supermarket chains to put local shops out of business by undercutting after all.

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  3. It is unfortunate and I hope the bakers find a way to survive. But I have to admit one of the big grocery stores here, (Wegmans) has a really good bakery, and their breads are second to none.

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  4. Our "Shopi" supermarket is now a Carrefour Contact - while it's much brighter, cleaner, better priced, it is selling bread at a cheaper price - but luckily not "fresh" croissants, only industrial packets. Our wonderful, independent boulangerie/patisserie remains well patronised (esp on Sunday mornings when it is heaving!!)

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  5. I would still frequent the local baker for my bread and pastries since I'm sure they taste a whole lot better. Furthermore no chain store is going to give Bob and Sophie any crust pieces.
    Today I would have spent Euros 6.45 at your baker if I chose one of everything with prices marked!!!
    We have a local delicacy here....coconut bread/sweet bread, and when the big giant membership club added it to their ware, many people stopped buying the bread from local bakeries because it was far cheaper. But guess what happened, the quality has deteriorated over the years, so most folks like myself continue to buy from the local bakeries and home made bakers....because there is actually coconut in the coconut bread.

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  6. I feel sad that the big box stores seem to be taking over not just the US, but the rest of the world, too. Here's hoping the bakery stays open for a long time.

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  7. And this is called "progress". Better guard all the baked goods from Miss Sophie!

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  8. When the bakery closed here after the big Wal-Mart came into town the baker went to work at a local restaurant. Then several years later after people realilized the baked goods at the big store was not even real food a new bakery opened. Now the new local bakery is doing so good there is a line of people trying to get the fresh baked breads and goodies. Hope some how your bakery holds on.
    Benltley

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  9. In my neighborhood, things have gone full circle. While the super market has baked goods, the really good, and fairly reasonable priced ones, are at the small bakery. They even have croissants. End bits being a treat for four legged companions!

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  10. Croissants fresh from a local bakery always taste better than from a supermarket - maybe you could do a taste testing with the PONs ?

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  11. We'd sell our souls for a real bakery.
    Hurrah for Sophie's weight gain!

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  12. Cautionary tale indeed. We have GOT to pay the extra money and sacrifice some convenience to keep the small businesses open. I am learning this more and more. And it is easy to order things from Amazon with a click and pay the shipping, but my local bookstore and art supply need my money -- I ignore this to my own detriment. Enjoy your bakery yummies and know you've done the proper thing - bravo Angus!

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  13. Do you think she'd win a croissant blind tasting?

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