I normally put in fillers of wishlists of artworks that I would like to own, this time I have decided to insert a blurb about a magazine I stumbled upon quite by accident. While waiting for a friend for a rendezvous on a weekend, I spent some time browsing at McNally Jackson (MJ is what I like to call it) bookstore and the periodical section to be more specific. There, I found this magazine filled with inspiring stories of woman of all ages pursuing dreams and fulfilling ambitions against personal obstacles, not to mention the fabulous fashion editorials that also got me very excited.
Here is just one of the many inspiring stories of young women who are trying all their might against personal obstacles to achieve ambitions. The story of Apollonia, the daughter of a Parisian Boulanger. It started with his father Lionel Poilâne who turned his sourdough bread into an international luxury brand.
I was pretty thrilled to know that a loaf of bread could be claimed or made as an international luxury brand. This new concept of luxury bread is interesting to me, since bread is suppose to be something as a staple food for peasants during many centuries ago perhaps even thousands of years ago. Then again, just about anything can be made into a luxury and a high-end brand these days. However in the case of Apollonia, her story and bread is truly a jewel (read the part where it describes the whole baking process in the magazine and each is made fresh daily). Despite that from an earlier time she knew that she would take over the family business one day. However that dream came true faster than she had anticipated. In 2002, Apollonia lost both of her parents in a helicopter accident of which his father was piloting crashed off the Breton coast in the fog. Then in 2002, Apollonia did not stop take leave from Paris to study economics at Harvard University. This is just the beginning of one of her dreams to obtain an Ivy League education, as she said, since she is half American she grew up with a certain image of American colleges with lovely names such as Harvard, Princeton and so forth.
One of her Harvard routines consisted of waking up early each day before lecture to call the management of her boulangerie team in Paris before directing the bakers at each of the bakeries. When asked of such a disciplined routine of going to school while maintaining a business, Apollonia simply stated that in her business school most people have had already started their own businesses and became entrepreneurs and therefore what she had to do at the time was not unusual.
These days, Apollonia walks from her nearby apartment to rue du Cherche-Midi bakery for its 7.15am opening, checking the night's work with her master baker, talking to staff, and breakfasting on toasted sourdough with them. Then, it's time for corporate planning, meetings and site visits as Poilâne has two bakeries in Paris. One year or two after she has taken over the business she has went into business with the high-end British supermarket chain Waitrose. With all this success, Apollonia is also very modest about her accomplishment and credits her wonderful staff for having been a second family to her while maintaining the tradition of bread-making that her father started. When asked if she ever misses being like people her own age, going to parties and dating. Her answer is no, that she is still quite young, given her job, personal situation and wealth one must exercise caution. Plus, she say, so what if she misses a few parties? When she has people like Isabelle Adjani (one of my favorite actresses of all time), Gerard Depardieu, and Robert De Niro coming to buy her bread everyday. By the way, Apollonia is only 27-year-old.