Our story begins with a search for the perfect baguette
Le Bread Xpress Founder and CEO Benoit Herve moved to the US from France in 1998 and started seeking the hot, crusty, aromatic baguette from his youth. To Benoit, bread is not just sustenance, it’s an experience that touches sight, scent, and touch as much as taste. He didn’t want a reheated replica or a thin-skinned sandwich loaf in a fancy shape: he wanted to feel the steamy warmth as he broke open the heavy, crisped crust and savored the fresh yeasty flavor of the soft bread inside.
Grocery stores provided options that had been sitting out all day and had lost their aromatic appeal. Bakeries typically warmed a loaf that was fresh…hours before. Both options left him thinking of how to obtain freshly-baked French bread on demand. He coupled his cravings with decades of experience in engineering and entrepreneurship, leveraged existing manufacturing relationships and capabilities, and created the world’s first robotic micro-bakery.
Le Bread Xpress machines combine existing vending technology with refrigeration and flash baking capabilities. Benoit partnered with local artisan French bakery Petits Pains as well as food storage and production experts to develop a baguette that could be partially baked, stored in the Le Bread Xpress refrigeration unit, and then fully baked on demand. The result: the fresh baguette he’d been seeking, hot from the oven at any time day or night.
Le Bread Xpress caught on quickly. Who wouldn’t want piping hot freshly-baked bread on demand? With over 130 machines operating world-wide, Benoit started working on how to extend the technology to other baked items.
Benoit worked with renowned pastry chef Pascal Rigo of Le Boulange to develop recipes for a full range of French baked goods. Using the proven storage and baking technology of Bake Xpress, Benoit developed an inventory tracking and labeling protocol that allows each’s product’s unique baking profile to be captured as well as remote machine inventory and usage tracking.
The expanded Bake Xpress menu includes pastries as well as meal offerings like pizza, quiche, and a selection of hot sandwiches. The vending unit itself is upgraded to hold up to 80 individual food items and includes a large interactive touchscreen display that can be used for point-of-sale advertising as well as easy ordering.
Bake Xpress machines are now being deployed throughout the Bay Area through both individual and corporate contracts. Please contact our sales team to learn how you can have a Bake Xpress machine installed at your business.
Benoit Herve is the Founder and CEO of Le Bread Xpress. Benoit brings a deep background in the high-technology industry, including key sales, marketing, and engineering roles at Fortune 500 firms as well as three successful startups focused on power management semiconductor technology. Benoit has an extensive track record of identifying, inventing, and bringing new technologies to market for both public and venture-funded companies.
Benoit combined this background in high-tech entrepreneurship with his love of fine baked goods to create Le Bread Xpress, using the world’s first robotic bakery to produce traditional French baguette on demand, in 2014. Building on the success of Le Bread Xpress, Benoit launched the first multi-product micro-bakery, Bake Xpress, in 2018.
Benoit holds a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from ESIEE Paris and a M.Sc. from Universite de Rennes I.
Anthony Fontaine has served as the Director of Operations and Business Development for Le Bread Xpress since the company’s founding in 2015. Anthony has an extensive background in the restaurant and food services industry, with specific experience in managing prepared food supplies and developing and managing retail customer relationships. His experience extends from curating original recipes through the full supply chain of procuring ingredients, overseeing food preparation, and managing inventory and demand across multiple customer types ranging from retail to restaurant.
Prior to his work in the prepared food industry, Anthony served in executive business management as well and customer-facing service, sales, and culinary roles at a variety of food supply, restaurants, and event services companies.
Anthony holds BTS and BTH diplomas in Hotel and Restaurant Business, Marketing, and Management from Lycée Hotelier Rybelais, Caen, France, as well as certifications in Wine Studies from UC Berkeley.
Ron Vinsant brings decades of experience in engineering technology innovation and customer technical support to Le Bread Xpress. In his advisory role to the company, he supports the development and deployment of the proprietary technology that differentiates Le Bread Xpress and Bake Xpress micro bakeries and ensures reliable and efficient operation of our equipment. He also oversees the customization of Le Bread Xpress technology for unique customer requirements and manages technical support efforts.
Ron has more than 30 years of experience in analog and digital power systems design, with demonstrated success in engineering and application engineering roles at technology companies including uPi Semiconductor, Vishay Siliconix, Powervation, Fairchild, Zilker Labs, SOMA Networks, Linear Tech, and Teledyne.
Prior to joining the power industry, he studied physics at UC Berkeley.