We’re an artisan bakery in London. We think bread is beautiful. We love how it looks, smells and feels, and of course we love how it tastes. We love the tradition and the skill that goes into baking it, and the never-ending quest for the finest ingredients.
At our bakeries you can pick up a world-class loaf from a seasonal, ever-changing range. You can choose a sandwich, freshly-made salad, or a slice of cake. We serve top-notch coffee made by carefully-trained baristas, plus loose-leaf teas and cold drinks. You can take all this away with you, or there’s space to sit and linger.
Good bread proved frustratingly hard to find when Ran Avidan and Tom Molnar met working in London in the late 1990s. Ran had been used to artisan bread every day at home in Tel Aviv, and Tom had grown up baking bread with his grandmother in Florida. Their hunt for a good loaf brought them together. They were quick to find Gail Mejia, who had gathered around her a team of expert bakers and was busy supplying top chefs with world-class loaves.
Tom and Ran knew this bread was far too good to be confined to restaurants. It deserved to be brought to the high street, where everyone could get at it.
Finding the perfect place to do that proved a lengthy process. In 2005 we found our dream site, in Hampstead – halfway between Ran and Tom’s houses. Tom’s friend Emma King arrived in London from Australia and joined them; the three of them set about turning the site into the neighbourhood bakery the community deserved. They decided to call it GAIL’s, in honour of the person who’d showed them that London could be a home to great bread, after all.
Years on from those first days in Hampstead, many of our earliest regulars still drop by every day, but having grown across London we get to know new neighbours every day. Our bakers Cyril, Ramek, Raam and Roy have recruited and trained scores more artisan bakers from across the world, who help our food to reflect and celebrate London’s cosmopolitan, melting-pot nature.
As we get bigger, we still act small. We never cut corners, and we never rush our loaves. With the finest ingredients, the most skilful bakers, and the most important ingredient of all – plenty of time – we have everything we need to create the perfect artisan loaf.