Mica Soellner is a freelance multimedia journalist who has worked at US and UK publications. She has been published by the Independent, i News, Novara Media, spiked-online and has been featured on BBC radio. Mica is completing her Bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri. She is currently based in Washington D.C. interning at Politifact National. She has language skills in Japanese and German and is interested in labor relations, politics and foreign policy.
Maison Kayser makes its long waited appearance in London
Parisian Boulanger Eric Kayser once had a dream to spread naturally baked and traditionally made pastry shops all over the world. It’s taken just over 20 years, but the much-loved Maison Kayser bakery has finally made its debut in London on Baker Street. The internationally known French artisan bakery has been declared to have the “world’s best croissants” by French daily Le Figaro and the best baguettes in New York City. With over 180 bakeries around the world, Maison Kayser is ready to open its doors to Londoners to enjoy its cakes, croissants and savoury pastries.
“Every time we open up in a very big city, it takes a lot of time to organise it,” Kayser said. “It costs a lot of money to build a shop like this.”
When starting up previous bakeries, Kayser has relied on partnerships and franchises in order to fund the costs of his business. What makes the opening of Maison Kayser in London unique is that he decided to open it up himself.
“We have opened our first shop in London,” Kayser said. “We need to do a lot of training for our workers and explain to them who we are and what we do and why we have this type of quality.”
Kayser believes that what sets his bakeries apart from others is the quality of the ingredients combined with the energy of the workers. Respecting the changing of seasons, Maison Kayser bakeries use fresh fruits and vegetables when they are best available.
“I think when you bake the dough, you send an energy inside the bread,” Kayser said. “You’ll see all the bakers mixing the bread and people have a lot of patience with the food. If you can teach people that, it would be fantastic. I think the most difficult thing in every country and in London too, is to give our spirit to the worker. Our chef for the pastries and our chef in the kitchen are totally different. The spirit is different and the precision is different.”
With as much international recognition that Maison Kayser has, the bakery has learned to adapt uniquely to each country’s staples. Keeping roughly 80 per cent of the menu the same, Maison Kayser offers 20 per cent of a local variety with green macha flavours available in Japan and specialised porridge available only in Britain. Despite small changes, the appearance of Kayer’s products remain an important concept both home and abroad.
“People buy with their eyes,” Kayser said. “If you don’t have a nice presentation, people don’t want to buy it. But, after, you have to have a good taste. They need to smell and to try it and understand. When people try it, it’s good, they don’t know why. It’s similar to perfume. Our brand is the same but we are going a natural way.”
Though the Maison Kayser on Baker Street has only been open for two weeks, Kayser hopes for a promising future for more bakeries in the UK one day.
“In my dream, I was thinking about times when I wanted to be a baker and travel the world so I’m keeping this story,” Kayser said. “It was in my DNA. When I was 3 or 4 years old, I still remember I wanted to open bakeries in different countries. It was in my brain.”
Maison Kayser is open now on 8 Baker Street,London W1U 3BU
Originally published by the Independent on February 10, 2017