French milling company Moul-bie has started rolling out its “Ronde des Pains” artisan bakery concept in Europe, following success in the UK.

Commercial director of Moul-bie Europe Michel Nguyen said the first shops have been launched in Ger-many, Italy and Sweden over the last few weeks.

More than 1,000 French craft bakers are part of its Ronde des Pains “artisan boulanger” concept, and over 60 craft bakers in the UK now use the brand, which was introduced in this country two years ago.

Nguyen said: “We decided to go into the rest of Europe in January, and have now launched four shops in Stockholm in May, five in Germany and five in Italy.”

In the next year, Moul-bie is to launch Ronde des Pains in Switzerland, Norway, Finland, Austria, the Czech Republic and Iceland, he added.

Moul-bie is using a variety of different business models in the different markets. It has set up management companies in Germany and Italy and partnerships in Switzerland, the Nordic countries and Poland.

Bakers in the Ronde des Pains scheme display the concept’s logo and are supplied by Moul-bie with its range of added-value flours.

Moul-bie is a division of Grands Moulins de Paris, France’s largest miller with 22 mills. Nguyen said: “We are looking to sign up the best bakers in the best locations to the scheme. We give them money in the beginning for merchandising and equipment, and they make an ongoing commitment to be exclusively supplied by us. There is no minimum term; they are free to stop at any time.”