Company: MOUL–BIE UK




Waking up gently, I have a strong black coffee and – French oblige – two lightly buttered croissants. I listen to the radio or television to check on the roads’ status, which is very important to me.


Leaving home, I arrive on the M1, going from Sheffield to Bristol. A craft baker has called us to ask about the Ronde des Pains concept, following a news item in British Baker (September 16, 2005). The traffic seems to be flowing well so far: it will be a good day!

As bakery sales manager for Moul-bie UK, I spend a lot of time driving. My area covers England, Wales and Scotland. My car really is my office and I use this time for phone calls.


First phone call with a UK Ronde des Pains member. We talk about the production and process, products, and how the concept is received. This information helps us to drive the concept forward, according to each shop’s location and situation.


Then I call new customers, to find out how things are going with their new French products: artisan hand-crafted bread such as Campaillette Grand Siècle, a rustic baguette; Campagrain, a seeded bread; or Campaillou, a sourdough loaf.

We discuss the production process and how the sales are going.


Arrive at the customer’s premises, thanks to the satellite navigation system (Sat Nav).

I present the Ronde des Pains concept, from product development through to merchandising and retail promotion. With free-of-charge membership, this concept supports craft bakers and gives them access to full technical back-up (process and product development), ongoing follow-up, on-site demonstrations by me or my colleague, Claude, and a short course available from EBP, our own bakery school, which is based in Paris.

I am a baker by trade, having worked for five years on night shifts in a Parisian craft bakery, specialising in Polish and sourdough breads; Claude is a Compagnon du Tour de France and travelled around France for 10 years to learn all about French speciality breads, so he really knows what he is talking about.

For the retail side of the business, a Ronde des Pains member gets access to a range of packaging, point-of-sale material and merchandising equipment.

At the end of the meeting, my contact decides to give it a go and join the Ronde des Pains family (now numbering more than 42 shops across the UK).


Back in the car, I deal with phone messages and plot the Sat Nav for Milton Keynes.

English miller FWP Matthews and Moul-bie have organised a Flour in Action day at Unifine Dohler’s premises, with equipment generously supplied by Mono.

The first event was very successful, so we decided to do it again. The idea is to demonstrate products such as the Campa range of authentic artisan hand-crafted bread. I really enjoy these kinds of day, as I can talk about bread all day with people who have the same passion as me.


After all details are reviewed, I deal with messages and set the car’s Sat Nav for the office in Wigston. On the way, I call an industrial baker from the Midlands, for whom I did a demonstration last week.

We are working on developing a new process for artisan, pre-proved frozen bread. This process allows you to produce ready-to-bake speciality breads. You store the dough pre-proved then frozen, to be baked on-site in the shop. The bread comes out freshly baked, crusty and full of flavour.


Having arrived at the office, I grab something to eat in the canteen, then send the new Ronde des Pains membership form to Paris. The welcome kit will be sent directly to the bakery in three weeks’ time.

I call the bakery school in Paris to talk to Lucien Megel, bakery teacher and demonstrator for Moul-bie in Europe. Lucien was my teacher 10 years ago and we have always stayed in touch. He is one of those who gave me the passion for bread and we now work together. I book a bakery room for three days. In a month’s time, I will visit with customers to show them the exact way we bake bread in France, visit some Parisian bakeries and, of course, being in Paris, go to see the most beautiful woman of the city, the Eiffel Tower.

Being a demonstrator himself, Lucien travels a lot in Europe. He keeps me informed about the market and recent developments in the bakery trade on the Continent. I want to stay in touch with products; I am, and always will be, a baker.

Then I call a Ronde des Pains customer who has decided to take part in a food festival and wants to include the Campa range. We discuss how the day will be organised. I will give him a hand the night before to produce the Campa range so he can concentrate on his traditional English bread.

In the morning, we will go to the festival and I will bring the “French touch” to the show. I will add another point to the authenticity of the range: “Du pain, du vin et tout va bien” (some bread, some wine and all is well). Consumers enjoy talking to me about bread and about France in general.

I check my e-mails and sales figures, which I discuss with Graham Emberson, general sales manager for Moul-bie UK. Before leaving the office, I put some flour bags in my car for next week’s demonstrations.


My last call on the way home will be at The Sheffield College, which recently adopted the Ronde des Pains concept for its bakery shop. This time, we will organise a French day for first- and second-year bakery students. We will produce different lines, including pain paysan (farmer’s bread), rye bread, different kinds of French stick and the Campa range.

It’s an opportunity for me to talk about the trade to young people, show them breads they didn’t know about and to pass on my passion.


The day is over and I head home. The last thing I do is check my agenda for the following day and make sure I get some croissants for my breakfast. Departure tomorrow is set for 7am.