When Frédéric Bressand moved to Evanston in 2016, he found nothing that reminded him of the bread of Dammarie, the small French village where he grew up.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, Bressand said he started making his own sourdough bread and sharing it with friends. After seeing the demand in Evanston for authentic French bread, he launched Fred’s Bread in 2020.
Since then, Bressand and his wife have been selling everything from croissants to cinnamon rolls to orange blossom, through their online store and at the Evanston Farmer’s Market.
“We’re not reinventing the wheel at all,” Bressand said of working on a batch of bread. “I’m trying to keep it more convenient, fewer machines, so we can really conserve the bread.”
While he trained at a culinary school in France and has managed fine dining restaurants everywhere from Ghana to Ireland to New York, Bressand now works out of a communal kitchen in Evanston, he said. -he declares.
When he’s engulfed in the intensive bread-making process, his wife, Kate Bressand, runs operations as director of business development for Fred’s Bread.
“We are very grateful to have the opportunity to be at the Farmers Market, but also the support from some of the other vendors and certainly the customer community,” said Kate Bressand. “It’s really wonderful to be able to make so many people happy with the products and to really be able to have this wonderful connection that brings people home.”
Myra Gorman, who runs the Evanston Farmer’s Market, said Fred’s Bread has been a hit with customers.
“There are people online all the time, and they love her, and they love her bread,” Gorman said. “It’s so fresh. He bakes it the night before and people can tell the difference.
Fred’s Bread doesn’t yet have a storefront in Evanston, but customers can find its wares at local businesses, like Patisserie Coralie and The Wine Goddess, when it’s not farmer’s market season.
Diana Hamann, owner of The Wine Goddess, said the partnership began when her business needed a new bread supplier and several customers suggested she contact Fred’s Bread. As an Evanston-based wine bar and liquor retailer, the business now includes fresh baguettes from Fred’s Bread with its plates.
“Many of my customers say his baguettes are as close to a French baguette as they have been outside of France itself,” Hamann said. “People were really thrilled to be able to come to another of their favorite places, The Wine Goddess, and eat the ‘farmer’s market guy’ bread.”
Frederic Bressand said the authenticity of his products is largely due to the ingredients he uses, which come mainly from local vendors in Evanston and from suppliers in France. While most of its bread is made with just water, flour and yeast, some of Fred’s Bread products contain local honey from Bond Artisan Foods in Evanston., as well as French chocolate and butter.
Hamann wasn’t the only one to point out the authenticity of Fred’s Bread. Adeline Courtial, a French teacher at Roycemore School, said her favorite of the Bressand breads is the olive bread, which contains picholine olives from the south of France, where she is from.
“I went to the farmers’ market, and then I heard Fred talking, and I heard he had this French accent,” Courtial said. “He said, ‘If you want, I could come to your school one day and maybe we could make some pizza dough. “”
Courtial said that although the idea for pizza never materialized, Frederic Bressand ended up visiting Roycemore School to make pancakes for Crepe Day, a French tradition.
Looking to the future, Frederic and Kate Bressand said their dream was to open a bakery on Main Street.
The couple said they are currently considering leases for a storefront in Evanston, which they hope to open early next year. Frederic Bressand also said he hopes to continue a collaboration with Northwestern at some point to bring its products to students year-round.
Gorman said she looked forward to picking up fresh bread from the window of a Fred’s Bread store in Evanston, and she also highlighted the important role the company plays in its market.
“I just want to wish him a lot more success than just the farmers’ market, but never forget the farmers’ market either because that’s really kind of his first step,” Gorman said.
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