A new cafe-slash-bakery is slated to hit the Plateau next week.
Under the guidance of head chef Riccardo Arnoult and owner François Barriere, Boulangerie Le Toledo will begin doling out breads, pastries, and coffee to Mont-Royal Avenue next Wednesday, March 13.
The cafe is Barriere’s first venture into the Montreal food scene after a long career in finance; but Arnoult, former lead at South Shore bakery L’Amour du Pain, has years of experience to inform his role heading up a team of bakers and pastry chefs at Le Toledo.
While the menu has yet to be finalized, Barriere and Arnault are looking at serving a range of baked goods, from hearty breads to light pastries, muffins, and croissants.
The duo are also planning to serve small lunch items, like sandwiches and soups — “anything that can be supported by a very very good bread,” Barriere says. Because the cafe-bakery will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., he hopes that anyone who enters the bakery at any time of day, be it for a morning bite or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, will be able to find something they want.
Le Toledo will also serve coffee from Structure Roasters, a new cafe-roaster on McGill Street in Old Montreal. Barriere says that beyond supplying coffee for the Le Toledo, the lead baristas at Structure, Jérôme Grenier-Desbiens and Matthieu Carrier, have provided coaching on coffee preparation as the cafe-bakery nears its open.
Barriere hopes to place equal emphasis on the cafe and bakery sides of Le Toledo; he says there’s ample room in the city’s food scene for a space that does both.
“There’s a lot of good cafes in Montreal, there’s a lot of good bakeries in Montreal, but there’s not too many where you can find both,” Barriere says. He hopes “that when people come they can have a very good coffee and a very good croissant at the same time.”
And with their prime location on Mont-Royal near St-Denis — a spot Barriere says he had his eye on long before Le Toledo came to be — the cafe is sure to pick up hefty foot traffic at all hours of the day. The space, which was once a library, is vast, with 14 foot ceilings and room to seat 40 comfortably across couches, tables, benches, and lounge space.
There’s no doubt that Barriere is aiming for the stars as he inches closer to the cafe-bakery’s opening. He hopes that with Arnoult’s years of baking experience, the help of a strong team, and a willingness to respond to customer feedback efficiently and effectively, he can bring Le Toledo to the city’s high ranks.
“There’s a lot of good bakeries in Montreal, but my goal when I developed it was to say, ‘Let’s open the best bakery in Montreal.’”
STATUS: Le Toledo is expected to open at 351 Mont-Royal Avenue East on March 13, should no delays occur. The cafe-bakery will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.