By Natalie Taylor
We sit outdoors, shaded by umbrellas, the café bustling in the background, customers offering greetings as they walk by. Sebastien Marulier, the owner, is charming and welcoming; he loves to chat and tells me all about his life before he came to San Miguel. Born on the outskirts of Paris, he followed a traditional path by entering university to study science but soon found he did not like it. Instead, he got a degree in business management. But working for a company, sitting by a computer all day, seemed utterly boring to him. He decided to take a break and “search for himself,” by traveling to Australia.
There he learned Oriental culture and food traditions through the different influences from Japan, China, and Malaysia and also realized that a desk job was not his destiny. Back in Paris he wondered where to go next. He came to the conclusion that being French, his passport to other countries would be knowing how to bake. He enrolled in an intensive baking course at Ecole de Boulangerie et de Patisserie in Paris, then worked for some time at a bakery in the city.
Over the years, several of his friends from adolescence had moved to Mexico City and had set up businesses. They kept inviting him to come visit, and finally, in 2015 Sebastien packed his bags and left for Mexico. He liked Mexico City—the cosmopolitan feel and the rhythm of life, but opening a food emporium there was complicated. When one of his friends offered him a place to rent in San Miguel, Sebastien realized that this was a “now or never” moment and made his move. His small bakery in Luciernaga mall opened in 2018 and has been successful from the start, so much so that they now are expanding their café. Although Sebastien himself brought all the original recipes, he now has a baker and a bread maker.
The crusty, delicious baguettes are based on his own masa madre (sourdough starter), making them unique in the community. But these are only the beginning; the croissants, canelés de Bordeaux, macaroons, and other patisserie items are as authentic as those in any fine bakery in France. What attracted him to San Miguel are the great opportunities with locally grown products. Fewer restrictions than in Europe allow creative experimentations with new recipes and food items.
Currently his involvement is mostly in purchasing products for the café, and this takes up a great deal of time because he doesn’t go to one single source. Instead, he has developed important connections with different providers who bring him the best of each item he needs. Sebastien lives in Los Frailes, a peaceful place that gives him a break from the stresses at work. His girlfriend, Cinthya, is from Celaya, creating another Mexican magnet. Sebastien Marulier is now part of San Miguel, but it’s reciprocal; because of him, we have acquired a bit of Paris in our city in the heart of Mexico.
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