Hidden Gem: French 50 Bakery

Sometimes you have to hunt a little for a true hidden gem and French 50 Bakery (and freshly-launched café) is just such a treasure. Operated by husband-and-wife team Brad Labrenz and Marie-Luce Denis, the bakery offers its delicious goods on Saturdays only from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. out of a quaint historic building (formerly the town’s post office) in Olde Towne Okotoks, 20 minutes south of Calgary. The bakery operates out of the Bistro 1882 restaurant similar to pop-up models that have emerged of late, but on a permanent basis. Labrenz picked up the bread-making bug while visiting France and wanted to bring that sort of flavour and quality back home. After a great deal of trial and error, he hit upon the magic formula and before long, his hobby had turned into a family business. We tried the pain au chocolat, mixed berry cruffin (croissant/muffin hybrid) and a chewy, delicious miso sesame loaf. Online ordering is available from Wednesdays at 7 p.m. until Fridays at 9 a.m. for pickup on Saturday. Stock always reserved for walk-ups as well.