FedEx Blog

FedEx Blog

Granddaughter Nourishes Family Bread-Baking Legacy

February 22, 2018


Baking bread is in Apollonia Poilâne’s blood.

Her grandfather, Pierre Poilâne, opened Poilâne Bakery in 1932 in Paris, France. He created the miche Poilâne®, a large round loaf that soon became Poilâne’s signature bread.

Apollonia’s father, Lionel Poilâne, began baking with his father at age 14 and as an adult traveled to the U.S. to introduce miche Poilâne® to a new American audience.

In the mid-1990s he started, long before websites or e-commerce were popular, especially for bakeries.

When Apollonia was growing up, the bakery was her playground but at the young age of 18, she took over the family business.

Apollonia remembers, “I took charge of the company from my parents in 2002. I always knew that I would take over Poilâne from my parents and I studied baking, but because my parents had an accident, I was brought in to take over the company earlier than expected.”

Apollonia continues the family’s entrepreneurial spirit. Since she took over, Poilâne Bakery has added other breads and opened other shops, as well as a café – named Comptoir Poilâne – that offers day-to-day foods, grains, breads and other healthy foods.

But one thing hasn’t changed since 1932, her grandfather’s miche Poilâne®.

Geneviève Brière, in charge of Poilâne’s External Relations, explains how the 1932 philosophy and recipe are still relevant today. “In 1932, Poilâne’s  philosophy already was to make bread that is both tasty and healthy and that keeps well. A large round sourdough loaf baked in a wood-fired oven. It’s this same quality, a big sourdough bread that keeps fresh up to a week, that allows us today, in the 21st century, to ship our freshly baked loaves directly from Paris to cities all over the world.”

Apollonia is modest about Poilâne’s success and credits her parents for her confidence. “I love my profession and I am very proud that the third generation baker at the helm of Poilâne is a woman. I’m very grateful to my parents for the present they gave me to believe in myself and to fully accomplish my dreams. They nurtured my curiosity and appetite to discover the world and the things in it.”

Watch the video above to take a trip inside the famous Poilâne Bakery, located at 8 rue du Cherche Midi in Paris, since 1932.

Check out the video below and see how each loaf of miche Poilâne® has a direct link to the previous loaf, a tradition dating back to 1932.

Apollonia’s story is part of our series on women entrepreneurs.


    Aracely Garcia says:

    I love the story and I would like to try some of her loaves. Thank you for sharing.

    Sheryl Gross-Glaser says:

    I send my home-baked naturally fermented breads to my children via FedEx. What I want to know is the best way to wrap and ship the bread so that it arrives fresh. Yes, next day FedEx service, but what kind of wrap or material inside the package?

    Alan Harris says:

    I was very lucky to know your parents when they first met. Please send me a link to what you are offering and shipping to the USA. Thank You 🙂

    james F mccartney says:

    Do you bake gluten free bread

    Donna Daniel says:

    That video made me hungry for a taste of that bread. I am glad that they keep making the way that the other two generations made the bread.

    Barbara Lunn says:

    How do I order on line from this bakery????

    Kim Roig says:


    Ada says:

    This is admirable. Want to order one now!
    Im sure I can find her online but it would be GREAT if you added a link to their online store to make it easier for those interested. Greetings to Apollonia Poilâne from Mexico!

    Me says:

    You can go to to find out what they have. It looks like shipping is at least 30 Euros to the US. If you end up on a page that is in French, then there is a small dropdown option at the top right on the page to change it to English.

    nina brady says:

    I hope to order some bread for my brother who lives in Portland and for myself!

    Glenda Piper says:

    How can I purchase your bread? I live in Rochester, NY

    Sylvia Nimphius says:

    That bread looks so delicious. I would like to try it. Where do I order it to get the next day. I am a bread person. I love good bread. If it’s that good be a customer for life. Thank You.
    Sylvia Nimphius

    Sylvia Nimphius says:

    I love the story and ask where can I get it. I love fresh bread.

    Mary Baxter says:

    Looks delicious! How do I order some?

    V. Mosley says:

    I found the ordering link I’m super thrilled

    Suzanne Besciak says:

    I love the memory I have of arriving at your bakery early one morning and being greeted at the door by a lovely woman in a crisp apron holding a small tray of still warm from the oven cookies. They were delicious! The beautiful breads were a sight to behold. My carry on luggage for my flight home consisted of several loaves which were carefully divided and gifted to only my immediate family and closest friend. Your bread with sweet butter is one of life’s great treats. Best wishes from Cape Cod.

    Gregory Arnold HARRIS says:


    Danyale Alexander says:

    I wonder do it taste how it looks ‍♀️looks delicious

    Bettina Strouble says:

    I was wondering, do you have low-carb bread of any kind???

    Amanda says:

    James, Vegan Mario’s ships gluten-free sourdough from their bakery in California. It’s delish! Thanks for sharing this inspiring story, FedEx!

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