The French take their food very seriously, and a French baker who decided to go against the grain intends to change the perception of how one should serve baguettes – and he decided to do it through an automated baguette dispenser that works round the clock without the need for a human in the vicinity. Jean-Louise Hecht is currently the owner of numerous bakeries across Paris and the northeast French town of Hombourg-Haut, claims that he was inspired by the fact that customers approached his shop after hours with the hope of purchasing one of his signature, crisp baguettes which is a staple at French dinner tables. Sad to turn away his customers, this situation caused the idea to take root, where it has been conceptualized and realized into an actual baguette vending machine.To make sure that you get your money’s worth, the machine will be stocked with partially precooked bread which will go through a baking process to turn it into a steaming, fully baked baguette once you have made your selection. In the first month alone, Hecht claimed to have sold 1,600 baguettes, and nearly 4,500 last month.
There will be naysayers in the world always, and Marc Nexhip of the Paris bakers’ union claims that, “I’m not convinced that good taste can be maintained over time. Maybe for 15 minutes, but not for several hours.” This came about without Marc tasting any of Hecht’s baguettes. Hey, if it comes out freshly baked and you eat it on the spot, I guess there shouldn’t be any complaints, right?
Update: we got numerous comments from France, and apparently, although not very common, such machines already exist and are generally accepted by local customers because of the convenience and the reasonable quality of the bread.