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La Boulangerie Artisan is bringing traditional French baking to Gloucestershire

All Areas > Food & Drink > General

Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Friday, 13th September 2019, 16:00

Ralph Saint Rose with a selection of La Boulangerie Artisan products Ralph Saint Rose with a selection of La Boulangerie Artisan products

A pair of French bakers are at the forefront of what is being called ‘the slow food revolution’.

Ralph Saint Rose and Raoul Dyevre have lived in Cheltenham for over 20 years and last year decided to pack in their work in the property market and retrain as artisan bakers.

“We had some time on our hands so we said let’s do some courses, let’s crack on with it,” said Ralph.

“So we went back to France, did quite a few courses in the top schools for bakers and then we decided to go for it.”

Ralph, who first came to Cheltenham as a professional musician, and business partner Raoul, who was enjoying a rare day off when The Local Answer visited La Boulangerie Artisan, set up the bakery in 2018.

Ralph says the year has been a great success for them.

“We’ve gone from strength to strength. People come in throughout the day and we have a queue here on a Saturday for our sweet pastries.

“We supply The Lucky Onion group, cafes like Clementine, The Find, Cheeseworks, Cotswold Cheese Company and the Natural Grocery Store, quite a few businesses.”

La Boulangerie Artisan pride themselves on using only the best ingredients, with no additives, using traditional baking techniques.

Ralph continued: “The salt that we use is from Guérand in Brittany, the flour that we use is organic, it’s French flour that we buy from a family mill. We know exactly the provenance and we know the quality is consistent.

“If you use good ingredients then you know it works. Ours is just flour, salt and water – that’s it.”

The process used also means the bread is 100% organic and suitable for vegans.

“We say, ‘gluten; don’t fight it, ferment it’,” added Ralph.

“Here, in the UK, people have been exposed to too much industrial bread and it’s stacked with too much gluten to make it ferment and prove very quickly.

“To get that quality you need a long fermentation. It’s a long process, it’s not a quick ‘mix it and it’s out’, which is what industrial bread is.”

And judging by just how quickly the two baguettes, loaf of sourdough and bag of milk buns disappeared when brought back to The Local Answer offices, Ralph and Raoul’s methods are definitely going down well.

With plans to expand the business across the Cotswolds and more exciting opportunities as part of Julian Dunkerton’s Lucky Onion Group, the future looks bright for La Boulangerie Artisan.

La Boulangerie Artisan is situated at Unit 4, Phoenix Works, Saxon Way GL52 6RU and is open Monday to Saturday 9.30am – 4pm.

For more information visit www.laboart.co.uk or call 01242 317730

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