Creating feasts for the eyes

Creating feasts for the eyes

Spotlight On

It’s not surprising that for such a creative industry, bakeries often extend the visual elements beyond the plate. In this edition of Baking Business we take a look at some bakeries from around the globe that have taken steps to make sure their business is also a feast for the eyes.

When it comes to creating a business there are many elements to take into account, from the potential product range and suppliers to staffing and equipment. However, in recent years creating a unique and visually appealing retail space has also increasingly made the list.

Melbourne-based Madeleine de Proust is one such example, with the business recently being named on the Australian Interior Design Awards Shortlist.

Designed by If Architecture, the brief given for the Madeleine de Proust bakery was to make it reminiscent of childhood.

Madeleine de Proust co-founder Rong Yao Soh said the inspiration for the design was drawn from cherished memories and the nostalgia associated with classic milk bars, corner shops and tuckshops.

“These places were once vibrant hubs of excitement, where colourful sweets and treats beckoned from behind glass displays,” he said.

“Our aim was to capture the essence of these nostalgic moment while reimagining them into a modern interpretation.

“Interior design plays a crucial role in a bakery, setting the tone and atmosphere for the entire customer experience.”


Madeleine de Proust. Image courtesy IF Architecture

Studio Cadena founder and principal Benjamin Cadena, who worked to bring Masa Bakery in Bogota, Colombia, to life, agreed with this sentiment, and said one reason he believed more bakeries were embracing creating beautifully designed retail spaces was the fact there is a resonance between the attention to detail, care and attention that is needed in baking that can also be conveyed by a space.

“The quality of the product is often embodied in the care that was taken to design the space,” he said.

When creating Masa Bakery Benjamin said the initial brief he received was to create a welcoming space that integrated production and dining to create a full sensory experience. However, the bakery was to remain at the centre of the project.

“They wanted to build a space that would represent some of their ethos as a company and project a distinct identity,” he said.

“[From there] there was a period of design where we explored different ideas and approaches until we found the right fit to develop further. Like anything of quality, it took time and the ingredients mattered.”

Benjamin said the need for the space to also be able to serve as a functional business was also a prime factor in the initial design process. By taking this need into account from the very beginning allowed for the possibility of a more integrated approach between the aesthetic choices and functional business aspects.

“They don’t have to be at odds,” he said.

“We wanted a bakery that felt welcoming and part of daily street life.”

Masa Bakery. Image courtesy Studio Cadena

So how does a business go about implementing a unique design into their retail space?

There are, naturally, many options to consider from the outset, including colours used to the overall branding and décor, product display and lighting. At the heart of it, however, remains how to create a space that is inviting for consumers while also still being functional as a business.

One potential way to do this is to clearly delineate between the kitchen and customer areas, particularly if space is an issue, or by using engaging displays that catch the eye for products.

Melbourne’s Kudo Artisan Bakery successfully did this when the micro-bakery – housed in na under-utilised corridor space within The Hotel Windsor – created a coffee station and serving area at the back of the business and a seating area at the front, while also using furniture to help guide the flow of customers throughout the narrow bakery.

Kei Kitayama from Kitayama K Architects, who worked on the design, said canelé-inspired furniture sits on the ground, guiding people around the narrow space.

“The pieces create organic traffic movement, similar to a sculptural garden. The mobile pedestals display the goods, capturing patrons’ attention,” Kei said.

“It [the seating area] is an open space for people to sit, wait and enjoy the baked goods.”

At the end of the day, the potential is really limitless and limited only by your imagination. However, Benjmain said it’s vital to move slowly and to implement ideas with care.

“I would say that it’s important to allow for the design process to evolve slowly,” he said,

“Take time to develop your own particular voice as you shape your spaces.”

Bakeries around the globe

Pan Bakery

Pan Bakery. Images courtesy Studio Wok / Simone Bossi

Images courtesy Studio Wok / Simone Bossi

A Japanese bakery, kitchen and wine bar located in Milan, Italy.
Designed by Studio Wok, elements of Japanese culture were brought into the design, along with design elements such as large windows to help make the bakery’s interior visible from the street, and help make it appealing to passers-by.


Images courtesy Breadway Bakery

Located in Odessa, Ukraine, the architects of Breadway – Lera Brumina and Artem Trigubchak – is not your average bakery and café. The small, 85sq m retail space features concrete floors, high ceilings, large windows, coral-coloured chandeliers and décor in soft pink and blue

Praktik Bakery

Image courtesy Praktik Hotel

Based out of the Praktik Hotel in Barcelona, Spain, Praktik Bakery is the result of a partnership with one of the city’s best bakeries – Baluard. It’s hard to tell where the hotel lobby ends and the bakery begins, as a large glass window being the check-in desk lets guests watch on as the baking takes place. White wood panelling and neutral tones have been used to carry the bakery theme throughout the entire space.


Image courtesy Collidanielarchitetto

When you think train station bakeries, retail spaces featuring high design don’t normally spring to mind. However for the VyTA Boulangeries in Rome, designed by Collidanielarchitetto, it’s a different story. Each bakery features décor in strong black and oak wood, while a large decorative wall – inspired by bread crusts – serves as the background for the seating area.


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