How much for a loaf of bread?
That all depends. If you find yourself at a French bakery in the Bay Area, you might need deep pockets – a loaf of brioche that serves four people is selling for $29 at one of them.
Les Gourmands in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood opened a little over a month ago, and is owned by baker Sylvain Chaillout and his parents, whose family operated bakeries in Paris and Normandy, France, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
A photo highlighting brioche’s price tag at Les Gourmands popped up in a thread on Reddit last Friday, posted to San Francisco’s city subreddit.
“$30 is a reasonable price if it comes with a whole avocado,” one Redditor joked. Another chimed in: “Ripoff artists thrive here.”
Chaillout defended his prices to KPIX 5. “It’s the same price as any big city” for the “real deal,” Chaillout said.
Les Gourmands’ high prices are also a way of funding the establishment’s 18-month paid apprenticeships for bakers-in-training. These apprenticeships start at $14 per hour, Chaillout told The Chronicle. KPIX reported that the bakery received 130 applications for apprenticeships.
As for the taste? Sarah Fritsche of The Chronicle called it “sweet, rich and buttery.”
Located on Fifth Street, Les Gourmands has been well-reviewed on Yelp, maintaining a five-star rating based on 18 reviews – and a designation of “pricey” on its sidebar.
Just how pricey is $29 for a loaf of brioche? Proof Bakery in Los Angeles, whose brioche was named best in the city on a 2016 list by Los Angeles Magazine, sells for $9, according its website. A grocery story chain like Trader Joe’s or Wal-Mart charges between $3 and $5, according to their sites, for a not-quite-as-authentic take on the bread.