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Baked Goods

Bonne Journee

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on October 15, 2012

bonne journee torontoBonne Journee is a classic French bake shop in more than just name (though interestingly, its chef is not from France, but more about that later). Brimming with fresh baguettes, plenty of pain au chocolat, and a window full of buns and loaves, chef and owner Hitchem Charfi introduces me to most items with their proper French titles, though his insistence on French nomenclature is not to make a point. "Sorry," he says. "I don't know some of the names in English."

bonne journee torontoBonne Journee just opened on Queen East right where Leslieville becomes Toronto's Beaches. A natural choice for Hitchem, who lives in the area, but the idea to open a bakery itself strayed from his initial career plans after studying business at York University. "I was working at a company after I finished school," he says. "But that sort of thing just wasn't for me."

bonne journee torontoHitchem tells me he actually came to Toronto from Tunisia, North Africa (I was expecting Paris or something, but that'll teach me to assume), to learn English (he is a francophone by tongue) and go to school. He has since gotten the English part down (save for a few pastry names), but he soon discovered that the financial sector was not where he wanted to be career-wise.

bonne journee torontoSo Hitchem decided to head out to France where his relatives operated a successful bakery in order to learn the tricks of the trade. He returned to Toronto a few months later, committed to open a bakery of his own. About six months later, with the help of his girlfriend and the mentorship of a couple of bakers from France, Bonne Journee opened its doors. The shop is modest with the odd rustic wooden touch here and there, and an intimate kitchen stationed in the back, but the focus, undoubtedly, is on the baked goods.

bonne journee toronto"We're more about breads and baked goods than pastry," Hitchem says, showing off his spread. Bonne Journee's window boasts an assortment of baguettes ($2.50) olive loaves, multigrain buns and more, with classic croissants on its counter accompanied by pain au chocolat ($1.60).

bonne journee torontoAnd for a little more sweetness, there are macarons ($3.25), eclairs ($3.25), and chou à la crème ($3.25) behind glass. Hitchem says that despite his country of origin, his baking all reflects the learning he did in France.

bonne journee torontoSince Bonne Journee considers pain au chocolat among its specialties, I opt to try one out and am not disappointed. It's a little denser than I expected with not too much flake, though the freshness and butteriness of the pasty is just right, and the rich chocolate in the centre is simply divine.

bonne journee torontoBonne Journee plans to integrate a roster of fresh sandwiches (made with its bread, naturally) to its daily spread, and will also be expanding more into the realm of quiche. For now, the shop is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Photos by Scott Snider

Discussion

29 Comments

Aydin / October 15, 2012 at 09:28 am
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Is Coxwell still Leslieville? When I'm that area, near Murphy's Law and The Tulip, and the Beach Cinemas, I consider it to be The Beaches (aka The Beach).
Waffles / October 15, 2012 at 10:25 am
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I believe the dividing line is at Coxwell. West is Leslieville and East is Beaches?

Either way, I'm definitely going to try this out, can't wait!
Kit / October 15, 2012 at 10:36 am
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I saw this the other day when heading to the Beach's Cinema and wondered what it was. Hurray - I'll check it out on our next trip to the movies - tomorrow, actually. :)
ScottyG / October 15, 2012 at 12:23 pm
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Oh man fresh Baguettes ...looking forward to giving it a try
Mike / October 15, 2012 at 01:51 pm
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Re. the neighbourhood, this is no man's land or according to the City, the catching sounding "Greenwood/Coxwell" neighbourhood. Greenwood/Coxwell as a reference sucks so people call it Leslieville or the Beach. I vote for Beachville or Smallville as a fall-back option.

This boulangerie looks great, can't wait to try it out.
Syncros / October 15, 2012 at 04:12 pm
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Looking forward to popping in here one day soon. The treats look delicious. I still consider it Leslieville until Coxwell also, for lack of a better name.
Bill / October 15, 2012 at 04:14 pm
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Hey Mike, you are a jerk. Go suck an egg with hoisin sauce jerk.
Thomas / October 15, 2012 at 04:15 pm
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This is definitely one of the better bakeries in the east end, I have been lucky enough try a number of their items and they were all excellent. I would definitely recommend it to anyone.
sean / October 15, 2012 at 04:54 pm
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was anyone else bothered by how many brackets were used in this article?
I never expect too much from blogto, but I was getting really bothered haha

anyways, place looks great, I'm so hungry now....
Matt / October 15, 2012 at 05:48 pm
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This Mike character appears to be the same guy who keeps calling my land-line asking to do government surveys. I also think he's the same guy who has been selling knock-off girl guide cookies at the subway stations in Leslieville. Buyer beware!
Debsa / October 15, 2012 at 07:22 pm
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Looks yummy, can't wait to try it...
Phil replying to a comment from Mike / October 15, 2012 at 09:09 pm
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Hey Mike. Your comments make my fists tremble in disgust, just waiting for the moment to strike when you least expect it. Also, this bakery is neat.
Alex / October 16, 2012 at 01:14 am
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I think I know the owner. I am quite pleased for him and wish him good luck! This looks good. Felicitations, Hichem!
Nathalie / October 16, 2012 at 12:02 pm
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OMG ! ...the best patisseries EVER - you have to try the pains au chocolat (chocolate stuffed croissant).
Just passing by / October 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm
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BTW the macarons are just $1 each! And delicious.
MG& Stéphan / October 16, 2012 at 04:49 pm
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I've being there the food it's worth it and the staff is really friendly. You feel like in Paris. Everyone should try "Bonne Journée " . Bonne journée by the way
Allstate / October 16, 2012 at 07:45 pm
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Nothing but exquisite goodness accompanied by very modest prices.
We are daily customers and can't get enough!!
Steve / October 16, 2012 at 08:56 pm
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Great bakery! Great prices! Will be a frequent customer for sure!
Jim / October 16, 2012 at 10:04 pm
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Great place for baked goods, owner is very friendly. Prices are perfect.
Ray / October 16, 2012 at 10:53 pm
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Amazing place!!! Great taste and awesome people, definitely worth checking it out!
Lucie / October 16, 2012 at 11:37 pm
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Merci Hitchem! Looks great, reasonable prices, I'll try it for sure.
mayor dodge / October 17, 2012 at 10:44 am
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Okay "robbin' your back', again we see a review that is not up to par with the place being reviewed or photographed, BlotTO. The editor's asleep again? On the plus side, all those baked goods look really yummy. I think I shall saunter over.
Louis / October 17, 2012 at 11:49 am
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Went there for a taste - I did like their pastries! Certainly worth a taste if you're in the neighbourhood.
Mike / October 18, 2012 at 07:27 am
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Mooks.
Theresa replying to a comment from Mike / October 18, 2012 at 02:56 pm
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I call this area "The Reaches" It is between Riverdale and the Beach and I think people...aka real estate agents are "reaching" when they call it anything else! LOL!
None the less, a welcome business to this community! I went there for lunch today and purchased a fresh and warm baguette...mmm
Amanda / October 20, 2012 at 04:37 pm
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Absolute Deliciousness!
Try the pastries - you won't be disappointed.
Truly authentic french boulangerie
Valerie / October 21, 2012 at 10:02 pm
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best pains au chocolat in Toronto
Sid / October 25, 2012 at 10:05 am
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Tasty food backed by great service
Luciana / December 31, 2012 at 02:10 am
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Good breads! Good deserts! Good Croissants! Good everything!

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