Last Saturday, Four Seasons Farmers Market frequenters were welcomed by the alluring scent of freshly baked bread. Thanks to a partnership between La Française Bakery and Four Seasons Markets, Four Seasons Local Bakery will sell bread at both the Richardson and Fairview farmers markets.
The bakery will carry scones and sweet breads from Florine Bowman Pastries, which have been available at Four Seasons Markets since their 2009 openings. All products have no additives, no preservatives and are made freshly for the market.
Vincent Hirth, owner and operator of Four Seasons Market, says the idea for incorporating the bakery component into both markets came from his customers’ needs and wants. Hirth has wanted to offer bread, but never encountered a bakery that could sacrifice the employees needed to manage a booth at a market–especially on a Saturday.
Hirth and Chris Alves, co-owner of La Française Bakery, were introduced by a mutual acquaintance–a client of Alves’ and a vendor of Hirth’s–knew Hirth was searching for a bread vendor. He encouraged Hirth to try Alves’ bakery.
After the men’s initial conversation, it took about three weeks to bring the partnership from meetings to the markets. Hirth decided to purchase the bread products from La Française, a wholesale bakery that mainly serves clients such as businesses, and delegate the manpower needed to operate a booth.
Hirth tested the setup at the Richardson market for a couple of weeks before making the decision to streamline the partnership into both markets.
For Alves, this expansion is the perfect opportunity for the public to try his bakery’s bread. “Being a wholesaler, we’ve been limited to chefs in restaurant,” he says. “The public is not aware of what we do.”
La Française Bakery’s roots run deep in Dallas. Alves’ father Samuel started the bakery in 1976 and was a pioneer among the area’s bakeries. He was one of the first to introduce French bread, croissants and baguettes. The bakery did 21 years of retail before turning to wholesale.
Alves said the company sticks to the “traditional way” of making bread, with all-natural ingredients and the best flour in the baking world–King Arthur Flour.
For now, Hirth will move forward with a basic tent-and-table setup, but he’s not opposed to expansion. He feels the addition moves in tandem with the markets’ initial setup as a European-style bakery.