While I was researching about LGBTQ life in Le Marais I stumbled across an article titled “Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Gay Paris.” One of the items that captured my attention was a bakery in the neighborhood that sold phallic-shaped baguettes and other phallic-shaped baked goods. This led me to think about pride and whether this was the bakery’s way of displaying their LGBTQ pride to the public. If you Google “phallic-shaped pastries Le Marais,” all of the results mention “Legay Choc”. This small bakery is located near the George Pompidou center and it is unique because of its special pastries. When you walk inside the boulangerie you see the typical handmade baguettes, meringues, and fruit tartlets, but you might also be surprised by their wide array of phallic-shaped pastry options.
Although it would seem like the only thing special about this bakery are its baked goods, it should be noted that there is an amazing backstory of how this bakery and their special pastries came to be. The owner of the shop, Richard Legay, is part of a family of bakers. This peculiar story starts with his great grandfather, Victor Legay, who opened his first bakery in 1920. Four generations later, Richard opened “Legay Choc” in 2001 in Le Marais (Melitauri). It was by fate that Richard’s last name happened to be Legay and he doesn’t shy away from this. In interviews conducted by Parisian bloggers and Youtubers, he is very open about his sexuality and even jokes about his ironic last name. Since the success of “Legay Choc” he has opened three other businesses, two restaurants and another bakery (“L’histoire”).
The bakery is typically very busy during the day and there is always a long line to go in. This business is especially appealing to LGBTQ locals and tourists. In a way, the phallic-shaped pastries appeal to the tourists because many are not used to such explicit demonstrations of pride. In a video interview, Richard Legay mentioned how he typically conceals the “special” pastries during weekdays when school is in session so kids won’t see them as they walk down the street. However, during the weekend, the pastries and baguettes are piled up on the window and are the main attraction of the bakery (Mourad). The fact that the staff speaks English also hints to their intended audience; it is easier for tourists to order when they can communicate with the staff. They have around eleven different types of phallic-shaped pastries and baguettes, but their most popular is their hand-made “Magique baguette.” Aside from pastries and bread, the bakery also sells sandwiches and other lunch options; however, these are not as popular as their fun-shaped baked goods.
As stated in one of the articles about the bakery, “Size does matter” (Melitauri). The price for most of the pastries is reasonable and does not exceed six euros. However, the larger phallic-shaped baguettes and tartlets can be as expensive as 25 euros (Melitauri). This bakery is proving that pride can be displayed in different, non-conventional ways. It is reassuring to see how openly accepting this establishment is and it is a great option if you are looking for a sweet treat!