We are beyond excited that PAUL’s family-owned French bakery-restaurant, whose finest baking traditions and savoir-faire have been passed down over five generations has opened up in Melrose Arch!
Boasting a 128-year heritage and a legacy of supreme passion for excellence, coupled with time-honoured artistry, carefully selected fresh ingredients and refined presentation, polished off by the latest gastronomic trends – PAUL’s boasts a wide variety of artisan and elaborate breads, including the finest brioche, baguettes and specialty breads.
The origins of PAUL can be traced back to 1889 in the small town of Croix, in Northern France, where founders, Charlemagne Mayot and his wife owned a small, but busy bakery. Charlemagne passed his knowledge and passion on to his son Edmond-Charlemagne – who in time, together with his wife Victorine, took over managing the family business in 1908.
In turn, Edmond-Charlemagne and Victorine taught their child, Suzanne, the secrets of their trade. With the love of classic French food woven into her fabric, Suzanne married a baker, Julien Holder, and the pair bought a bakery from the Paul family, in nearby Lille in 1935. The Holders retained the bakery’s name, and PAUL as we now know it, was founded.
Francis, the son of Suzanne and Julien, shared his family’s deep affinity for artisanal baking and in 1953 began working in his parents’ well-known bakery. He inherited the business after his father’s death in 1958, and opened a second bakery in 1963.
Displaying a natural flair for commerce, Francis took the business from strength-to-strength. In 1985 he opened the first PAUL bakery outside of France in Barcelona, marking the beginning of the company’s global expansion. Today, the small family business founded in a tiny corner of Northern France is now represented in 36 countries around the globe – with South Africa becoming the latest addition to the family.
Chairman of PAUL International – Francis’ son, Maxime – continues to uphold his family’s legacy of celebrating the unique French art de vivre through the finest in innovative baking craftsmanship – and the brand now boasts shops in Europe, Africa, Asia, America and the Middle East with over 670 outlets worldwide.
PAUL’s local flagship bakery-restaurant opens to the public on Thursday, 02 March followed by the grand opening on Sunday, 05 March 2017 in Melrose Arch (Shop 010I3, Corner The High Street & Crescent Drive, Melrose Arch), Johannesburg.
The 180-seater will combine a chic blend of a bakery-patisserie-café service, a full table service restaurant, and its signature display counter for on-the-go orders.
Its skilled artisan bakers will craft breads and pastries within customer view in the bespoke bakery and patisserie, while offering an extensive indulgent range of breakfasts, brunches, lunches, afternoon teas and dinners.
PAUL’s Master Baker, Richard Blades, trained traditionally in hotel kitchens with The Savoy and The Connaught. From here he grew his skill base, culminating in positions as Head Chef and Executive Chef respectively with Atlantic Bar and Grill and Simpson’s in the Strand. During his sojourn at Simpson’s he made two television programmes with celebrity chefs Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Clarissa Dickson-Wright.
Explore the world of PAUL’s distinctive French style on Facebook (@Paul1889.southafrica), Twitter (@Paulbakerysa) and Instagram (@PAULSouthAfrica).
Hello Joburg was first published in April 1980 as a monthly restaurant and entertainment magazine. Over the years we have developed a network of patriotic Joburgers that love nothing more than sharing their experiences in this beautiful city!