There are more than a thousand bakeries in Paris, and each Parisian has its own favourite. As a Parisian, my own favourite is Legay Choc and its crispy and fresh baguette, homemade to-die-for chouquettes and delicious viennoiseries.
A smell of freshly baked bread fills the air. A few Parisians hurry inside the bakery to buy a baguette or grab a pain au chocolat on the go. A policeman queues to buy a generously-filled sandwich and an older lady has a hard time making up her mind regarding which delicious pastries to take for dessert. A few giggling Japanese tourists are taking pictures of the famous baguette magique. We are in the trendy gay part of Paris, Le Marais, at the bakery Legay Choc, named after… its proud and gay owner: Mr. Richard Legay!
Fourth generation of a family of bakers, Richard knew the drill: hard work, no family life, no Christmas celebrations, hardly any time for leisure… As a young adult, Richard was happy to study and work in the banking sector, away from the constraints of the bakery. On the other hand, Richard’s brother became a successful pâtissier and chocolatier. One day, he had the funny idea of making chocolates shaped as penises. That was the start of a business venture, far from the conservative countryside, in the heart of the gay area of Paris, with Richard handling the business side while his brother was making chocolates, delicious breads, pastries, and viennoiserie, soon expanding to hearty sandwiches, stuffed with yummy veggies, marinated chicken, and other tasty ingredients.
Legay Choc has drawn quite a bit of media attention thanks to its baguette magique (magic bread). His brother’s penis chocolates have made way for the famous penis-shaped baguette. It is a bit awkward to take the first bite, but it tastes pretty good, as the same grand-cru flour is used in the secret recipe of the baker.
“The neighbourhood was shocked! There is a school nearby and one day a father of a kid walked in, telling me he had a hard time answering his child’s questions concerning these new penis-shaped chocolates decorating the window. He had a point and I decided to only showcase them in the weekend and school holidays”, Richard remembers. But the baguette magique is only a tiny part of Legay Choc. Baking about 1,200 baguettes a day (2,000 on Sundays!), only a fraction of them are magic. Many regular customers buy their baguette here on a daily basis, and Legay Choc also supplies about 40 local restaurants with its high quality bread.
French bread is world renowned and the yearly bakery business represents about 2.3 billion euros in France. We are very serious about it, ready to walk that extra mile to get to our favourite bakery! Every time I’m back in Paris, in step inside Legay Choc even before I step into my own flat! Beyond buying my favourite baguette, I’m also happy to support local shops in Le Marais, my favourite area of town that may become a victim of its own success, with more and more fashion stores taking over.
Marcella & Claire
- I highly recommend the delicious chouquettes (puff pastries with sugar on top), and the baguette, more specifically the baguette Victoria: with a bit of salted butter, it is just perfect for breakfast! And the lemon tarts with meringue, and the pain aux raisins, and… Basically: if visiting Paris, stay in Le Marais, and go to Legay Choc every morning to try something new!
- Legay Choc also supports the gay community in Paris.
- Tempted to check out Legay Choc? Check out this interactive map (quick tutorial) for the specific details and more articles and photos (zoom out) about the area!