60 Years of History, Dreams and Knowledge
It was to pursue an adventurous dream that Roland and Odette Étienne boarded the Georgic for a two week trip across the Atlantic to get to Montreal in 1951. After a rough start in America, life, great encounters and perseverance brought the couple and their young children to the Rosemont neighbourhood. Thanks to the solidarity of the Basque community living in Montreal, the Étienne couple was able to acquire a bakery with two Mignolet ovens on Marquette Street in 1956.
Au Pain Doré was born.
At first, the bakery was selling exclusively in bulk and was successful thanks to a loyal restaurant owner clientele. They were seduced as much by exceptional baguettes and French breads, than by Roland’s charm and diplomacy. For her part, Odette was an outstanding businesswoman and was managing a growing number of orders.
It was only in 1983 that the first Au Pain Doré bakery opened in an old garage turned into a beautiful boutique. The new store allowed customers from the neighborhood to taste the real quality of true French bread. Jean-Marc Étienne, who by then was managing the company, started using a combination of technology and tradition to plan the evolution of Au Pain Doré. With a developed sense for mechanics, he modernized the production processes to release bakers from several handlings. For him, the winning recipe was to intervene mechanically where it would not affect the bread.
The growing success of the Marquette Street bakery was so remarkable that an expansion of Au Pain Doré boutiques and products was a given! Thanks to the vision of Jean-Marc’s spouse, Diane, the quality of Au Pain Doré was transported to other locations. In 1991, a store opened on St-Denis Street and in 1992 Au Pain Doré expanded with two new boutiques on Peel Street and on Laurier Avenue. In 1995, the company opened three new bakeries located across the city: on McGill Street, on Mont-Royal Avenue and on Côte-des-Neiges.
The growing demand for breads, pastries, sandwiches, desserts and other products made production and multiple daily deliveries more complicated. With that same combination of modernization and artisanal methods in mind, the company opened a new baker workshop on Rouen Street in 1997. Jean-Marc’s desire to combine both knowledge and technology was used to create the best bread possible and in ideal conditions.
Over the years, the bread’s quality, the staff’s friendliness and the bakery’s success brought Au Pain Doré on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, in Laval, at the Jean-Talon Market, in NDG, Westmount and at the Atwater Market.
In 2008, the family company garnered attention from Groupe Le Duff, which also specializes in high quality bakery and owns many brands across the world. Au Pain Doré joined the Group sharing the same ambition as the three generations of the Étienne family that had worked for the company through the years: develop and share the passion for fine products and keep Au Pain Doré as THE reference for great traditional French bread in Montreal. With success still at the heart of Au Pain Doré, two new stores opened in 2016: a kiosk in Place Ville-Marie and a new boutique on Des Laurentides Boulevard in Laval.
60 years after Roland and Odette Étienne’s dream came true, the same values and the same great taste are still at the heart of the nineAu Pain Doré bakeries.