France Experiences A Shortage Of Baguettes?
Sacré bleu! It seems that France has quite the dilemma on their hands. Due to a national reform in labor laws, a reported two-thirds of the country's bakers have spent the months of July and August on vacation.
For the first time in 50 years, the government has allowed bakers to choose their own vacation dates. Previously, these days were decided and delegated by the government to ensure that fresh artisanal bread would be available even during the summer months.
Needless to say, the bakers immediately pulled off their aprons, closed up shop, and YOLOed their way up out of dodge. This has properly pissed off some Parisians, including Aude Debout, a 30-year-old designer from East Paris, who expressed in an interview with NBC:
"It's more difficult. I find myself buying more sliced bread from the supermarket - and that's not even really bread." Side note: It might just be me, but nothing makes you feel more like a 'dumb Yankee' than when a French person tells you that flour-based impostor you've been making your BLTs with isn't actually bread. My life is now a lie. Thanks, Aude.
Anyway, back to the baguettes. These bakers, however, see it from an entirely different perspective, believing that the opportunity to take vacations during the slower summer months just makes more business sense.
Rue de Charonne baker Morgan Marie has decided to close her bakery for the summer, explaining:
"If nearly all my clients are on holiday it's not profitable. It's much better to be able to open when I like. It's not that bad if clients have to walk a little longer for a few weeks to find bread in August." Perhaps the winners of this whole debacle are the few bakers that decided to stay open while the rest of their local competition closed, as they're currently rolling in dough - in both a literal and figurative sense because.. well, baking.
One bakery, A La Flûte Enchantée, decided not to close at all this summer, a decision that manager Arnand Anita hopes will generate loyalty:
"For us it's a plus, we will bring in customers and hopefully keep them." As of right now, no plans are set to build upon or adjust these new and more lax labor regulations. But I hope hungry Frenchmen everywhere are able to get their favorite baguette fix back again soon.