Guen - Le Guen means white in Gaelic - was born in Lorien France. As a teenager Claude
decided to become a baker because, as Claude words it, " All my uncles are bakers. In
France being a baker is a very respected trade because it is where people get to together
in the winter when it's cold. A service to the community."
At age 13½ Claude went Strasbourg to attend bakers school. He
attended school during the day and worked as an apprentice at a bakery night. At age 18
Claude graduated with the prestigious, "Certificate Aptitude Professional
Boulanger," The French government's official recognition of his abilities.
Claude's outstanding abilities as a baker are
further demonstrated by Claude's winning a gold medal, 2 silver medals and a bronze medal
in the "Salon Culinaire European," a national competition amongst France's
finest chefs and bakers.
Claude bake bread, you can see his talents at work. When baking authentic French bread,
the bread is removed from the oven and returned three times during the baking process.
Six years ago Claude decided to come to the United States to find
the opportunities awaiting him. As soon as he reached New York he decided that the East
Coast was too cold for him so he paid $450 for a ticket to San Diego where it's warmer.
After a year Claude moved to Orange County where he
went to work for Jack's Bakery in San Juan Capastrano for six years. Then he worked for
the City of San Juan Capastrano for a year, as Claude puts it, "Making cookies for
Then I decided to open my own business like a
family business. Not too big, just to have a good life."
for a location Claude selected Balboa. " I like Balboa because it's a community, you
have to be part of something. It's a village scene, that's what I like."
Claude's lovely wife, Patricia, is from Michoacan Mexico. Claude
says, "[We met at] a school for English. because when I came here I spoke no
English." They have been married for five years. Patricia has a background in
accounting and will be handling the businesses books as well as working in the bakery.
Le Guen's Bakery is located at 705 E. Balboa
Bloulevard, and the phone is 675-4714