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The Maison Kayser story began at 8 Rue Monge on Friday the 13th, September 1996. It was the natural conclusion of its young founder's journey.
Making Bread Taste Like it Should Once Again
In the early 1990s, very few of our team members could have believed that high-quality bread would make a return. Eric Kayser was one of those select few believers. He set out to craft so-called "traditional" breads using additive-free flour and carefully selected wheat. He was also determined to champion the benefits of leavening agents – live compounds that produces a trademark flavor and help extend the bread's shelf-life.
He took up this challenge by working as a trainer for the INBP (French National Institute of Baking and Patisserie) for about 10 years before going on to work for his own consulting firm. He now delivers training on his principles and methods worldwide, giving him the opportunity to meet with bakers from across the globe. He is an ambassador of French expertise with a commitment to sharing his knowledge and techniques with his counterparts.
Eric Kayser was born into a family of bakers. He has bread in his DNA. He joined the Compagnons du Devoir (a traditional craftsmen's guild) at a young age, helping to perpetuate traditional methods and cultivating his own passion for passing on his knowledge and skills.
A key moment came in 1994 with the invention of the Fermentolevain, a revolutionary machine that keeps liquid leavening agent at just the right temperature, making it easier to work with. This enabled Eric Kayser to pursue his ambition of creating bread with a creamy center, distinctive grain, dried fruit flavors and an excellent shelf-life.
A Dynamic, International Company with Traditional Values
Having plied his trade as an educator, Eric Kayser decided set up his own company, giving him an outlet to communicate his unique vision. The company now boasts an extensive international presence. Maison Kayser expanded its operations into Japan in 2002, where it now has 32 stores, thereby making it the company's number one market.
The talent and dedication of the company's Japanese staff and chefs have inspired its employees in France, Portugal, the Philippines, the United States, Chile and elsewhere. Yet the heart and soul of the company remain firmly rooted in Paris, where each and every new chef undergoes a rigorous training process lasting up to a year before taking up their position.
From the outset, the company has had a consistent "signature": Opening bakeries that reflect the neighborhoods and cities in which they are located and where bread is baked fresh, on-site, all day long. This commitment reflects our brand's unwavering pursuit of quality and its determination to be more than just another "chain". Each store is a community in its own right. It is a bright, bustling, welcoming place where customers seek enjoyment and socialize throughout the day.
In each country, our bakeries create products suited to the local culture and tastes. While the "Baguette Monge" remains one of our brand's signature products, our breads vary by texture, color, size and flavor. Yet each and every product embodies our expertise, our rigorous approach to sourcing ingredients, and our commitment to using natural leavening agents.
Sharing Our Passion for Bread
Despite Eric Kayser's significant achievements to date, he is determined to continue seeking new opportunities and taking his passion for French bread into new, uncharted territories.
In recent months, Maison Kayser has opened new outlets in Morocco, Hong Kong and New York. Every minute of every day, there is a part of the world awakening to our outstanding products. Each of these moments is an opportunity to meet the Maison Kayser challenge: To share our love for superior-quality bread, both with our 1,500 employees worldwide and with our customers.
It is an ongoing story, with a new chapter written day after day. We understand that as tastes and requirements change, we need to change our products accordingly – improving flavor, using the latest production methods and selecting the very finest ingredients. Bread is a prime example of a staple food – something that should be accessible to everyone. In 2013, we introduced a new gluten-free range at our Rue de l’Echelle bakery in Paris, providing the same enjoyment to our team with gluten allergies.
Going forward, Maison Kayser is determined to maintain its artisan character and defend its core values. Whether you buy our breads in a train station, an airport, a shopping center or on a busy city-center street, our recipes will always remain the same. We will soon be opening a new bread and pastry school, the first in France and then in other Maison Kayser locations worldwide, to ensure that these same values and techniques are reflected in our dough-making and baking workshops.