There is an artisan bakery tucked away on a side street just outside of Qualicum Beach that would be very, very easy to miss, but it’s a great find for anyone who appreciates quality breads, above-and-beyond sweet treats and amazing flavour combinations on pizza.
The front/sales end of La Boulange Artisan Bakery is tiny, but walk through that door and all the goodness of organic baking can’t help but draw you in. The bakery has been in operation since 1998 and its reputation for quality has grown to the point where it now supplies restaurants both on and off-Island. It is a favourite of local residents too, to the point where most days when the bakery is open to the public (and that isn’t every day – too busy filling outside orders, I guess) there are line-ups out the door.
La Boulange’s beautiful crusty loaves in a variety of flavours were what first attracted us to the place, but we have more recently fallen victim to the aforementioned sweet treats (lemon tarts like you have never had in your life, amongst others) and the bakery’s most recent addition – pizza, constructed on an artisan sourdough thin crust.
The pizzas are only available on Fridays and the bakery suggests that advance orders are a good idea – these are not your typical gooey concoctions with too much tomato sauce and cheese but rather, flavourful offerings featuring ingredients like artichoke hearts, basil oil, pesto, spinach, roasted peppers….six regular (but far from mundane) offerings on the menu and a weekly special. If you get there early enough you might be able to purchase it by the slice; otherwise it’s a full-sized pizza that you will be faced with – no hardship, from our personal experience.
The bakery is fronted by a charming perennial garden and a small outdoor patio area where, if you can’t wait until you get home, you can enjoy a cup of coffee and your purchases. And be warned – you probably won’t get away with picking up just one item at this most unique spot – there is way too much great-looking food here, some of it gluten-free, much of it made with ancient grains. It’s an absolute treasure trove for those who value good food.
La Boulange Organic Artisan Bakery is located at 692 Bennett Road, Qualicum Beach. The bakery doesn’t have a website but has recently initiated a Facebook page under the name La Boulange Organic Breads. The bakery phone number is 250-752-0077 – best to phone ahead if you want pizza, or if you are planning to visit – as mentioned earlier they are not open every day, all day. At present their business hours are Monday, Thursday and Friday from noon to 6 p.m.
GPS co-ordinates are:
Lat. 49.34692299025848 Long. -124.39898785767212
N 49 20.815 W 124 23.939