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Celebrating 130 years of PAUL back
  • The Paul Story
  • Passion for Bread
  • Quality at Heart
  • French Tradition

Paul is a family company built upon a foundation of time-honoured production methods passed down for five generations.

  • 1889

It all starts in 1889 when Charlemagne Mayot takes over a small bakery in Croix, near Lille in the North of France. His son Edmond Mayot takes over the family business in 1908. Suzanne Mayot, Edmond's daughter, marries Julien Holder. They move into a bakery on Rue des Sarrazins in Lille.

  • 1950s

We launch our first cake range in the early 1950s using our own family recipes. More than 60 years later we’re still making wonderful French cakes that taste every bit as good as they look and are hand crafted using only the finest ingredients….

  • 1953

Francis Holder begins working with his parents, who have taken over a well-established local bakery owned by the PAUL family. The PAUL name is retained. Following the death of Julien Holder in 1958, Francis Holder takes over the family bakery, and a second bakery is opened in 1963.

  • 1972

Francis Holder refurbishes the family bakery in Lille, installing a wood-fired oven and bakery that operates in full view of customers. To Francis this is simple common sense, but it is innovative at the time to see bread being made in the traditional fashion – kneading, shaping, proving and baking.

  • 1985

PAUL opens its first bakery outside France in Barcelona, heralding the start of the company’s international expansion. Two years later, some PAUL bakeries start to incorporate a café or restaurant area.

  • 1993

Francis Holder refreshes the PAUL brand by introducing the now iconic black shop fronts, and a line of artisan speciality breads made using sustainably produced winter wheat. Learn all about it at our Artisan Bread Masterclass…

  • 2000

PAUL opens its first bakery and restaurant in London, Covent Garden- an instant hit! Encouraged by Londoners’ enthusiastic response, PAUL opens further branches in London and beyond, now with 37 UK locations including our PAUL Express branches in St. Pancras and Tottenham Court Road, and two branches of Le Restaurant de PAUL!

  • 2007

Francis Holder brings his children on board to continue the family story, appointing Maxime as CEO of PAUL International - the fifth generation, continuing the international expansion as well as focusing on PAUL’s social responsibilities. Discover our passion to bake our way to a greener future…

  • 2011

PAUL bakeries can now be found in 5 continents and over 45 countries, with 750+ bakeries in cities such as London, Washington, Dubai, Cairo, Tokyo and more! We are still family owned and still committed to the same time-honoured methods of production first laid down by Charlemagne Mayot.

  • 2016

Did you know?

In 2016, we joined forces with The Felix Project to help fight food waste. We bake delicious Bread Pudding from our surplus bread which The Felix Project collect daily. So far, we’ve turned 4.5 tonnes of bread in bread pudding to fight hunger and food waste!

With our reusable cup scheme, we help to save 10k+ coffee cups from landfill each month! We’ve rescued over 21,000 meals from the bin with our Too Good To Go partnership

  • 2018

In the UK, we launched our first PAUL Express Stores, an exciting concept that brings your favourite PAUL ‘slow food’ products to you more speedily! We now have 2 Express shops located in travel hubs so you can grab & go with your coffee and croissant, sandwich and snack or salad and tartlet.

  • 2019

PAUL turns 130! And so, does the Eiffel Tower… in the very same year that crowds were flocking to Paris to gaze in awe at the magnificent tower, our first bakery opened for business in a quiet village in Northern France. We’re both still around 130 years later…