Peak Bakery is a French artisanal bakery that delivers healthy, frozen sourdough bread and pastries made with local flour to customers across British Columbia, revolutionizing the accessibility and convenience of high-quality bread through a subscription model. The service comes tiered with five different boxes to choose from, and you’re able to pick the delivery frequency based on your personal bread needs: every 2 weeks, every month or every 3 months. The subscription delivers all over BC, packed in recycled boxes with eco-friendly liners and dry ice. The business was created by authentic French expats, Lucas Navilloz, from Lyon, and Alice Couderc, from Brittany, so you know that they know their way around bread after eating baguettes every day in France. Both self-taught pastry chefs, the couple started their business a year ago. It took thousands of tries with the baguettes and fermented dough to discover the perfect process to flash-freeze the unbaked loaves, but once they perfected it, the ball began rolling. We spoke with them to find out more.
Photo by Eva Tolosa of E.Magine Photography
What is your business called and what does it do?
Peak Bakery makes frozen, ready-to-bake sourdough baguettes and loaves, among other sweeter kinds such as brioche, and we deliver our subscription boxes all over British Columbia.
What made you want to do this work?
Trying to find good quality French bread when we moved to Vancouver about 5 years ago from France.
What problem did you want to solve with the business?
We wanted good bread, authentic with high-quality ingredients, to become more widely available to everyone even if they don’t have a good bakery nearby.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
Families, parents, mostly 35-50-year-olds with kids in their homes, looking for healthy bread without having to settle for the industrial processed loaves in the stores.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
Our products are subscription based, you pay no additional money for the delivery and the pan to bake our bread comes complimentary. It is an aluminized steel baking pan, so it’s relatively expensive, but it is necessary to reach optimal crust quality and crumb development. With that comes frozen products that our customers can bake themselves in 30 minutes. It’s like having a French baker in your freezer.
Where in the city can we find your profession?
We have in mind about four bakeries surrounding Vancouver that we would consider very good, but nowhere is there a subscription box. There is frozen bread in the supermarket but it is part-baked and rarely sourdough. We are the only ones providing high-quality frozen unbaked bread.
Photo by Eva Tolosa of E.Magine Photography
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services?
We believe the most important question to ask is ‘What ingredients go into the bread you are eating?’. Many bakers advertise ‘sourdough’ bread, but they actually use yeast to accelerate the manufacturing process and only use a small amount of sourdough to give taste to the bread. The benefits of sourdough for gluten sensitivity and gut health are only true if the sourdough is used to ferment in the bread! For us, it’s simple: bread should only be made of flour, water and salt.
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
The best part is that our business always provides the healthiest, good quality pastry and bread option for families who may want a good morning brunch or occasion. Bread is so important for the daily ritual of meal planning. Knowing that we make a difference in people’s day-to-day life with an easy click on our website… that people don’t need to always go to a fancy bakery to get the quality bread they want, or settle for over-processed convenience at the grocery store. The worst part isn’t so much the worst part, but more of a learning curve. Every day we face new business challenges and adapt to the market as best as possible. One major challenge is to keep true to our values throughout operational challenges, for instance, our sustainability goals. Delivering comes with a carbon footprint, and it’s important to us to compensate as much as possible by sourcing sustainable packages, liners, dry ice, etc. It’s more expensive and reduces our profitability, but we need to uphold our values to stay true to who we are as a company.
What is your favourite joke about your profession?
Lucas calls himself the “Chief Bread Officer”, which is entirely hilarious.
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?
Our friends at Wize Tea! They are our close friends and have been doing great work for the past seven years, with a massive sustainable impact on small coffee farmers in Nicaragua.