As of Monday, July 29, Eric and Michelle Forbes are the new owners of the Kimberley City Bakery, passionate about bringing French-inspired pastries to Kimberley.
Forbes was one of Bruno Marti’s apprentices, having lived in Kimberley for some time. He says that he is honoured to take over his teacher’s legacy.
Bruno Marti was famous locally for founding the bakery and for his perfect breads and pastries. He is well remembered.
“I want people to know that the Swiss flag will always be flying here, because Bruno was from Switzerland, and it will always keep flying as long as I’m here. And as long as I’m here, the French flag will also be flying.”
Forbes — a journeyman baker and chef — lived in France for a while. He is well versed in the art of baking and promises to bring French pastries back to the bakery.
“I’ve done my schooling, I’ve done my four years. I’ve worked in restaurants in Lethbridge and in Calgary. I’ve taken my Cordon Bleu in France and I did my apprenticeship here for baking.”
Not only is he bringing back some traditional bakery favourites and essentials, but Forbes says he has a lot of surprises up his sleeve. For one, he will be bring in lots of gluten-free and vegan baked goods.
Veronica Paauw, the previous owner of the bakery, will be helping the family take on the bakery by tying some loose ends and running errands as a volunteer.
The staff of the bakery will all remain on — a number of them worked for Bruno.
“Bruno, when he owned the place, was very good to our family. Sort of as a tribute to him, I want to keep the bakery going. I don’t want to see it decline.”
The sale process started in February, Forbes said.
“February 14 we came by here on holiday and we saw the For Sale sign and I looked at my wife and said jokingly, ‘Hey, we should buy the bakery.’ But then on the trip back to Calgary she looked at me and said, ‘You know, we should look into and see what it entails.'”
Although there will be a lot of new elements and changes made, Forbes wanted to clarify that it isn’t about completely renovating everything about the bakery, but about restoring it to its former glory.
“I’m not changing things drastically, I’m changing things in terms of taking them where they are at right now and taking them to the next level with better quality of product. Right now I think the quality has diminished.
“It’s going to be the same style but with better quality and back to where it was in its heyday. It’s just been slacking and it needs to be brought back. The people that are from here, the actual locals will know it – there used to be really good quality here and I want to bring that quality back.
“If people have ideas and stuff that they want to see, I’m all open to suggestions.”
The Kimberley City Bakery hours will remain the same – from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
This week is their first week of being open for business and Forbes said he will be bringing in new specialties daily to see what people think.
“This is going to be the hub of the town, I guarantee it.”