First U.S. PAUL French bakery opening in Washington

Photo by Judith Beermann
PAUL Chairman Maxime Holder and D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans assist D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray in ribbon-cutting
PAUL Chairman Maxime Holder and D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans assist D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray in ribbon-cutting

Move over, cupcake -- there's a new confection in town. PAUL USA, a 120-year-old upscale authentic French bakery-café, will officially open its doors on May 2 in Penn Quarter, followed by a store at Wisconsin & M Streets in August.

The Mayor and the Ambassador with their personalized PAUL breads (Photo by: Judith Beermann) The Mayor and the Ambassador with their personalized PAUL breads

Would a president of Starbucks in France trade all that corporate cash to go back to basic French baking? Mais bien-sur! At least that's what PAUL president Philippe Sanchez decided to do. Tuesday PAUL welcomed Mayor Vincent Gray, French Ambassador to the U.S., Francois Delattre, Maxime Holder, Chairman of PAUL, Capital Restaurant Concepts CEO, Bechara Namour, and Ward 2 D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans.  Also present, Capital Restaurant Concepts president, Paul Cohn.

President of Capital Restaurant Concepts, Paul Cohn (Photo by: Judith Beermann) President of Capital Restaurant Concepts, Paul Cohn

Elaborating on the long-standing relationship of PAUL and Georgetown-based Restaurant Concepts, Lisa Amore, PAUL spokesperson told The Georgetown Dish, “Bechara Namour opened PAUL in Lebanon 30 years ago. Today Capital Restaurant Concepts celebrates a new joint venture with PAUL in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.”

“Discovering the passion for the art of baking in this family-owned business” is what persuaded Sanchez to relocate from Paris with his wife Sarah and their two children. Started in 1889 in Lille in northern  France, PAUL now has 500 stores in 22 countries, including London, Amsterdam, Madrid, Tokyo, Bahrain, Belgium, Jordan, Qatar and Switzerland.  

Sarah and Philippe Sanchez (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Sarah and Philippe Sanchez

“It was love at first sight,” Maxime Holder, PAUL’s chairman told the guests, deciding to make Washington D.C. their first U.S. location. “It’s very international, with lots of chefs and a great interest in good food here.” As he turned to Mayor Gray, he added” This is your shop now, Mr. Mayor.”

 “It’s impossible to imagine a meal without bread,” French Ambassador Delattre said. So important, he noted, that “UNESCO recently named French bread part of humanity’s cultural heritage.” The ambassador made special note of the fact that PAUL is using flour from Wisconsin.

French Ambassador to the U.S. Francois Delattre (Photo by: Judith Beermann) French Ambassador to the U.S. Francois Delattre

PAUL staff (Photo by: Judith Beermann) PAUL staff

With “50 fantastic team members”, Holder explained, “only three are French.”  Echoing Holder, Mayor Gray said, “A milestone for the city, PAUL’s 501st store. This sends a message that our city, how Penn Quarter is growing. People want to walk. They want to live in downtown. One of the most exciting pieces of news is that the majority of people working here live in D.C.” In closing the mayor announced, “Let’s Welcome PAUL!”

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (Photo by: Judith Beermann) D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray with Philippe Sanchez (Photo by: Judith Beermann) D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray with Philippe Sanchez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside guests enjoyed Champagne Mimosas, croissants, pastries, sandwiches and French macarons (D.C.s new cupcake?)

Charles serving bread and macarons (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Charles serving bread and macarons

www.Paul-USA.com
 
 

0 Comments For This Article

Anonymous

Why is this being called the FIRST US ourpost, when they already have a few stores in Florida?

Gary Imhoff

Because, according to Wikipedia, the Paul stores in Palm Beach and Miami both opened in 2006 and closed in 2010. The DC store is the first this time around.

Janet Bullinger

Have you heard of this French bakery? Sounds good to me and I look forward to shopping there. Janet B.

Nate

I used to frequent a Paul's bakery in London...simply wonderful...highly recommended...

Jean-Louis

I am French, and if I may: This is the best we have to offer when it comes to Bakery...!!

Anonymous

I have seen the program, history of the Paul bakery.a mazing story! We'll be in lodon and Paris this June , planing on having breakfeast everyday. I'm sure it'll be great. Can't wait, i like to go to the DC store I'm afraid it might not as good as in Paris. Will try the DC, after the trip-.)

Anonymous

I live in the Penn quarter. Having lived and studied in France, I certainly welcome the availability of an authentic baguette in DC.

There is, however, a problem. To buy a baguette, I apparently have to stand in line for 10-30 minutes, behind others waiting for custom orders to be prepared.

Is there a way to purchase a baguette without the long wait?

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