It’s early in the morning, I am on my way to work and I have to make an important decision: shall I choose the crunchy and chewy pain au chocolat? Or the golden croissant perfectly baked? Perhaps, I’ll go for a piece of bread: the spelt bread or the thin “ficelle” or the traditional baguette. There are also special little breads made of green or black olives, of dates and seeds, of nuts and grapes.
Behind the counter, I am always welcomed with friendliness and kindness. Each time I set foot inside this unique bakery, I remember the words that chef Thierry Marx once told me during an interview: “a bakery is the very first skill of gastronomy.” And the Saint-Honoré bakery proves him right. I even think that the Saint-Honoré bakery is the only worth your time bakery in our city.
And to understand such statement, we need to go back in time in 1986 when the father of Ms Panzano bought this bakery. He couldn’t afford changing the name but made sure the know-how would be kept. At the age of 18, Ms Panzano joined the family business and perpetuated the tradition. This tradition is written on a board at the entrance of the bakery: “The St-Honoré bakery produces in its bakehouse located on the basement. At a time where everything goes so fast, we work with respect for traditions and quality products. For the pleasure of your taste buds.”
In the basement, M. Canovas wakes up very early every morning of the week and kneads bread with patience and many years of experience. When I asked what was the secret of such perfect breads, I got the following answer: “flour, water and salt… and lots of love.” In practice, Ms Panzano explains the importance of the flour provided by one of the most important partners of the Swiss artisan bakers: Mino-Farine, a brand of tradition and innovation.
At the Saint-Honoré bakery, you will meet the neighbours, the bankers, the students and the foodies in a friendly and casual atmosphere. When the sun shines, the terrace is often packed. People come here to grab a piece of simple pleasure: a piece of bread, of croissants or pastries. And as Ms Panzano once told me, small businesses tend to shut down in our economy so people tend to forget what food really taste like.
PS: dear chef Thierry Marx, on your next visit to Geneva, may I suggest you stop by the Saint-Honoré bakery. You will see that Swiss artisans know how to make bread just like the French. 😉
Rue de Carouge 91, 1205 Geneva
Mon to Fri 5am-7pm; Sat & Sun (& public holiday) 5.30am-7pm
Outside these opening hours, the Saint-Honoré bakery welcomes you at its doorstep ALL NIGHT to serve you.