bakery wars

Saturday, May 30, 2009

On a lighter note (than my previous entries about suicide and swine flu), two big Korean bakery chains have opened stores in our neighborhood in the past few months. We now have four bakeries within a five minute walk from our apartment. One is located inside the local grocery store and doesn't sell anything that really appeals to me, so I won't bother to mention it again.

People of Bread Village is the old neighborhood bakery. The Korean name literally translates to "Bread Village People," but the English name is also prominently displayed.

They make a decent apple tart-type pastry, although I always have to double check as to not buy the sweet potato-filled version. (Apple is square; sweet potato is rectangular.) Liam likes to stop in for their W300 (about 30 cents) cream puffs.

Paris Baguette opened a store a month or two ago. My favorite item there are the blueberry muffins, which come in a two pack. (You can see Liam's fingers sneaking in to grab the muffin on the right.)

Tous Les Jours opened right across the street this week. They have decent banana-cranberry scones. I know that sounds weird, but the banana flavor isn't very strong. They also have walnut scones (too flat and dry) and chocolate chip (not my thing).

All of the bakeries have various pastries, breads, cakes, etc. Most of it is distinctly Korean in style, which means less sweet, somewhat bland, very soft, often containing sweet potato or sweet red bean filling, etc. Blueberries and cranberries are nearly impossible to find (and very expensive) in Korea, which is another reason the muffins and scones are noteworthy.

Maybe our neighborhood CAN support four bakeries, the way people apparently increase their caffeine intake to support Starbucks on every corner in PNW cities. Only time (and expanding waistlines) will tell.


3 Responses to “bakery wars”
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In my neighborhood, there was a PB and a TLJ kitty-cornered to each other. One day, the PB was exploded. Totally gutted and gone. I thought this made sense because there was another PB about 3 minutes walk from that.

Wrong. They were renovating to add a second story "cafe" b/c TLJ had a cafe.

And don't get me started on coffee places!

Its hard for me to understand population density in Korea and particularly in our neighbourhood. There are 12 or buildings in your complex, each with 100 apartments, I guess. In my complex are another 800 or so apartments. That's a lot of people: i don't know if it is enough for four bakeries.

That's true, Brian. Actually, I think there are 120 apartments in our building, maybe fewer in the deluxe buildings like 310.

Of course, poor PoBV doesn't stand a chance if all their customers jump ship for the chain bakeries.

MamaSeoul, we have the explosion of coffee places here, too, although I'm sure on a smaller scale. Most of them are downtown, though.

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