His employees call him Bonaparte, but unlike Napoleon, Laurent Boursier has no intention of leaving Moscow.
“It's really tasty and just like in France”, says a regular who can't resist the baker's macaroons.
His recipe is simple: his is an old-fashioned bakery and confectioner's, just like you'd find anywhere in France and just like there were in Russia before the 1917 revolution.
A hot oven making fresh bread all day long: it's a successful formula which has given others the same idea. Ian Zilberkweit has followed Boursier's example and opened several branches of the Belgium-based Pain Quotidien café-bakery chain in Moscow.
“The baking business in Russia was nationalised or collectivised between the wars, and that led to a massive increase in production but also to a decrease in the quality of bread,” says Zilberkweit.
The return of leavened bread to Moscow has been a success: Zilberkweit already has four shops and hopes to open 40 more over the next four years.
“This is a good croissant. It's made in the traditional way with French butter and french flour. The customers love them,” he says.
And the pastry chef from France dreams that the smell and taste of his croissants will live on in the memories of Muscovites young and old.