We spoke to the owners of Bali’s favourite bakery Monsieur Spoon to see what makes the business tick, and how they serve up treats fit for Paris.
Spend any time at all with cousins Greg and Rafi, the founders of Monsieur Spoon and you’ll become infected by a passion and enthusiasm for artisanal baking, Bali and for life in general. The two cousins are a creative force that have skillfully opened four branches of their bakery, Monsieur Spoon in the last two years becoming a mainstay for tourists, expats and the locals while becoming synonymous with quality.
At first glance Bali might seems a strange place to be creating French pastries and bread. It’s certainly as different from the avenues of Paris as you could get and it’s a question the cousins get asked a lot.
Rafi Papazian, co-founder, Executive Chef and Director of Monsieur Spoon:
“In Bali we can do what Parisian bakeries only dream of doing. My Balinese team love the artistic nature of baking. I found Balinese are really open to learning and applying their natural flair for craft to creating some of the most beautiful looking, textured and tasting food I have seen anywhere. They loved to learn the French know-how to involve themselves in making Viennoiseries and pastries. The passion pours from their hearts and into their hands.”
Monsieur Spoon was founded in 2012 when Rafi Papazian and Gregory Guerguerian decided to leave Paris and set up in the Island Of The Gods.
Along with the local aptitude to craft, the other reason Bali is such perfect place to create traditional French delicacies are the raw ingredients that cover the island – something Rafi discovered first hand on a three-week motorbike trip through the back roads and trails that wind through rice paddies from surf to surf.
Rafi says, “We just took our time and explored like little kids. We met locals producing incredible ingredients. We put away our cellphones and got off the the main roads we found a family who have been making sea salt for generations. Straight from the ocean in front of where they live. Now that sea salt is in our breads and gives our salted caramel. It’s such a buzz to know EXACTLY where our ingredients are coming from.”
Rafi continues, “Our honey comes from Bali’s happiest bees. You’d be happy too if you saw where they work. There’s beauty in the honey and I swear you can taste it.”
Monsieur Spoon has four shops in Bali: Canggu, Ubud, Umalas and Seminyak” and soon a fith one in Petitenget, each offering a unique experience, whether you’re seeking out breakfast in the garden in Canggu or Ubud a gourmet sandwiches for lunch in the lush shade of their Umalas offering or a mouth-watering treat while you shop in Seminyak. Monsieur Spoon has you covered with food music and a true community focus that has made the shops all delightfully busy and fun.
Community is important to both men and they run cooking classes for local kids where the next generation of bread breakers and bakers get a hands on experience in a working kitchen and get to feel dough in their hands and gain an understanding of where their food comes from. To Greg it’s these things that break down barriers and give back to the community. “Share the love” he says with a smile. “It’s been a dream come true launching Monsieur Spoon in Bali. We are bringing a taste of France to Bali and our passion for French pastries and bread has made Monsieur Spoon what it is today – a growing success. We look forward to opening more bakeries and spreading our love for good quality food with the French know-how.”
Monsieur Spoon also provides delicious cakes for birthdays, weddings and other celebrations, along with an online ordering service via their website.
Join us for the soft opening of Monsieur Spoon Petitenget (in front of Metis Restaurant) for a crazy Sunday Party on March 19th from 11am. Bring your sunglasses. Dress code: Colourful!