Traditional French bread that is gentle on the body and heart

Diary With Bread


Boulangerie MOMOPAN

Traditional French bread that is gentle on the body and heart

Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture, has rolling mountains and rural landscapes, as well as a lively industrial area. In this town, which is one of Japan's most famous wheat-producing regions, we visited Boulangerie MOMOPAN, popular for its hard bread made using traditional French methods.

Helping each others with fellows

MOMOPAN’s boulanger (“baker” in French) Mr. Baptiste opened his long-awaited shop in Takasaki in 2018 after training in France and Japan. The reason he chose Japan as his business place was because he always loved Japanese culture, in addition to meeting his wife in Japan. “I grew up in environments rich in nature, such as Guadeloupe, the Republic of the Congo, and Saint-Pierre-Miquelon, where there are only two bakeries, so I felt more at home in a peaceful town away from the city center. In Takasaki, my fellow bakers treat me very kindly, treating me as a colleague rather than a competitor."

Momopan is located in a corner of a residential area on the east side of Takasaki Station. The impressive large windows and navy frames bring you excitement, feeling as if it is not in Japan. The sign on the door was painted by Mr. Baptiste's father. The interior of the store has a clean, white-and-gray color scheme.“We asked for a rustic and simple design for the interior so that the bread would stand out above all else.'' 

Traditional French bread making that brings out the full flavor of the ingredients

France is an advanced country in the field of bio products, such as organic products and organic farming. Bio-related laws and certifications are established, and this awareness has also taken root in bread. “For French people, bread is something we eat every day, so we place importance on making bread using safe ingredients and making the most of its flavor. I want people in Japan to know more about the deliciousness of bread made with simple ingredients, without unnecessary seasonings or additives."

MOMOPAN’s casse-croute (a type of sandwich) is filled with cream cheese, prosciutto, figs, and walnuts. This was inspired by the snacks often eaten after dinner in France. Other popular items in MOMOPAN are campagne baguette and honey gorgonzola. “Rather than introducing seasonal items or new products, I place importance on continuing to create the same bread with same taste for our customers who prefer our standard breads.''

"I've never had such delicious bread!"

The long aging process and use of hard water, which are common in France, tighten the dough and create a hard bread with a light texture. It's very rare to find a bakery that makes 100% whole grain or rye bread using natural yeast in Japan, so the texture is not familiar to Japanese people. However, we were surprised that there were many customers visiting MOMOPAN, not only from neighbors but from other cities. Here are some of their voices: “I will have the baguette with jam for lunch.” “My children are always saying, “I've never had such delicious bread before!” “I always buy the cinnamon rolls and canelés.''

We could also feel the relationship of trust with customers through the presence of regular customers who make reservations every week, and the custom-made bread orders from nearby cafes and salad bowl shops. This should be a result of Mr. Baptiste's attitude and passion for bread. “Thank you for coming,” I can still hear him saying to each customer.

Traditional French bread that is gentle on the body and heart

Gunma Boulangerie MOMOPAN

1612-1 Egi-cho, Takasaki-shi, Gunma

(information as of Aug 2023)

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