Loaf affair: South Korean bakery reinvents white bread
Whitelier is a South Korean bakery that transforms humble white bread and jam into an Epicurean delight
White bread is synonymous with a lot of things – monotony, lunchbox sandwiches, bad nutrition – but ‘artistry’ is not a word typically applied to the humble loaf. Now, however, new South Korean bakery Whitelier is looking to change that.
The bakery chain, whose name is a compound of the words ‘white’ and ‘atelier’, opened its first store in 2019 with the aim of serving up an Epicurean take on the standard white loaf. Its ultra-thick, cloud-like hunks of white bread are coated in innovative spreads such as pink cherry blossom and spring mugwort herb paste, and tangy strawberry and rose jelly.
South Korean bakery elevates the white loaf
And while Whitelier makes only white bread and preserves on the premises, it also offers ready-made to-go sandwiches – for those who prefer a more savoury snack – with fillings such as Cesar salad with bacon, and mixed veggie.
The bakery’s novel concept is complemented by striking interiors designed by Seoul-based design firm Studio Eccentric Co. For Whitelier’s fifth storefront location, this time in the Misa district of Gyeonggi-do, on Seoul’s outskirts, Studio Eccentric wanted to create a ‘white workshop of white bread’.
The tight 54 sq m space features hanging wooden beams stacked with loaves and a large countertop decorated with beige tiles that echo the piles of bread above them. Speaking about the design, Studio Eccentric’s director Seuk Hoon Kim says: ‘Since its first flagship store opening in 2019, Whitelier has become well known for its premium white bread, which has been the one and only product in this bakery.
‘When my team and I were asked to design its fifth store, we wanted to challenge ourselves in terms of how we can express this baking artisanship through the medium of space.
‘We wanted people to experience, enjoy, and appreciate bread in any manner within the space. With the white-curved façade of the store, we wanted people to feel the softness and curvature of the sophisticated bread. The bread counter, when seen from the outside, resembles a workshop with artisans baking; while in the hall, an articulated wood structure displays bread as if in an exhibition, emphasising the one and only product in the space.’ §