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Vendor Spotlight: The French Oven Bakery

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We interviewed Nick Castro, Owner and Head Baker of The French Oven Bakery, and asked him a few questions about his business, products and life as a baker!

Tell us a bit about the business…

We have been in business for 3 years, we make French Baked goods, as I was trained to do in France before I moved to Canada. We are a small business owned by myself and my wife Sandra, with 3 other employees. I work the night by the oven and Sandra runs the shop. We specialize in croissants, brioches, baguettes and such french products. With us you get the authentic thing 🙂

What made you decide to open your business…

We love Victoria, we wanted to work for ourselves and I am baker, so the time and place worked out great…

What is your favorite product that you sell and why…

The pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant). As a young kid I would get one of those when we had anything to celebrate, then as I grew up I just bought a whole lot of them. When I was an apprentice my boss used to joke he could pay me in “Pain au choc” and I would still have shown up for work.

What is your best selling item…

Our Sourdough bread is the big winner. It’s proofed for 19 hours which brings out the flavors and makes it very easy to digest. So you can eat a whole loaf and come back for more!

Are there any fun facts about the business that most people don’t know…

Fun facts, it takes 24 hours to make a croissant at our bakery from the mixing of the dough to the final product coming out of the oven! All our recipes are from Lyon, France. My mentor (whom I apprenticed with) came to visit us for a few months during our first summer in business to make sure I had it right 🙂 

What does your typical day look like…

I get up around 11pm, and start work a little before midnight. Then it’s baking till 8:30am when I go deliver the product to the Hudson (We bake 5 min away from the shop). We put the products on display and then I go do the necessary things to make a business exist. Or, I go for a long swim, 3 or 4 times a week. Unless the surf is up, in which case you’ll see me drive to Jordan River for a surf session. In summer, we’ll be fishing on the boat or reading a book after we drop the anchor…. then to bed around 4pm!

The French Oven Bakery is located in Victoria Public Market, and is open Monday – Saturday 9:30am – 6:00pm, and Sunday 9:30am – 5:00pm. You can also check out their Facebook page here!

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