New Montreal-based bakery is first to open outside of Quebec

Spencer Van Dyk | Fulcrum Staff

Photo by Justin Labelle

AS OF OCT. 22, University of Ottawa students and faculty have a brand new place to get a good cup of coffee. The Première Moisson bakery was officially inaugurated on Monday at its location inside the new Faculty of Social Sciences Building. Première Moisson is a Montreal-based bakery franchise that was first opened in 1992 and has since expanded to 20 different locations. The restaurant will serve the 10,500 students, professors, and administration of the social sciences faculty, as well as the surrounding community.

“The bakery offers a wide variety of baked goods, sandwiches, salads, pastries, sweet and savoury pies, ready-to-eat meals, drinks, and other goodies to eat in or to go,” read a press release by Première Moisson.

Patrick Genest, director of Food Services for the University of Ottawa, said that a request for proposals with the public tender was sent out in 2011, and that Première Moisson was then decided on by a committee.

“We had an idea of what we were looking for,” said Genest. “Something with a local feel that would fit with the faculty stance, and stuff like that. So that was our main thought process. We entertained five proposals from some actual local suppliers, and Première Moisson is out of Montreal…. On [the] committee, we had people from Student Services, Community Life, people from the faculty, some students, and the [Student Federation of the University of Ottawa]. In the end it was unanimous to choose Première Moisson as the vendor for that location.”

Genest explained that the price point is a bit expensive, but the bakery offers quality product and high-end pieces. The location opened during reading week, and according to Genest, it has been going well.

“The stuff is made fresh,” said Genest. “We don’t bake off everything at once in the morning, but rather throughout the day, like the breads and muffins.”

Genest also said he was excited about the new options, that are made fresh at the location.

“The good thing about Première Moisson is that they have a lot of organic choices,” said Genest. “They have a flour mill, so they make their own flour, so there’s a really great quality of food there. We also have a bread slicer, so we can slice your bread for you if you want. We can toast your panini; we bought a top-of-the-line panini press that can do a panini in about 40 seconds. You can get fair-trade coffee, and there are a lot of choices over there that are great for everybody, and I think we can please everybody’s palate. You really taste the difference.”

Manon Kirouac, director of communications for Première Moisson, said the decision to open a University of Ottawa location was an easy one.

“I think it was just a good fit,” she said. “We are not that far from Montreal, so it’s easy for us to ship, and we just believed the University of Ottawa would be a really good place to be. We saw the potential.”

Genest added that for students living in residence, there is the possibility of using Première Moisson as a kind of grocery store, as they can get things like ratatouille and spaghetti sauce. The bakery will be open seven days a week and will be accepting cash payments, debit cards, and both the meal plan and flex plan from the U of O student card.

Genest said that while the bakery served many great options, there was one that he liked above the rest.

“I’d say if you’re going to have anything at the store, try the brownie,” said Genest.