Why has nobody thought of it sooner? This is the first artisan bread and cheese emporium (at least that we know of), featuring a Paxton & Whitfield cheese concession.
Ran Avidan, joint-managing director of Gail’s and its wholesale arm, The Bread Factory, had previously held talks with celebrated cheese shops La Fromagerie and Neal’s Yard before realising his dream with Paxton. It took five years to open seven stores "and get it right".
The company now plans to open four more this year and sustain that level of growth next year.
Kitchen on view
l The open kitchen area is continuously producing foods during the day, such as sandwiches, quiches and hot pastry for lunchtime; the main table then becomes more cakey in the afternoon. Viennoiserie is proved from frozen on-site. It has introduced a breakfast menu, made-to-order.
All the gear, plenty of ideas
l Essential kit: Sveba-Dahlen oven and La Marzocco coffee machine. "We’ve learned that if you buy cheap, you pay more in downtime and problems," says Avidan.
Heart of the matter
l "Bread is the essence of what we do," says Avidan. One feature is a central table, at the entrance in the middle of the shop. Products on offer will change during the day, beginning with morning goods.
Playing it cool
l This is the first Gail’s shop not to feature open fridges, "which I hate because they’re ugly", says Avidan. The closed fridges, recessed into the walls, are bespoke and more energy-efficient. These are filled with frequently changed salad ranges and dips all of which are made by Gail’s/The Bread Factory.