Mr. Monsieur Spoon, Rafi Papazian

Delicate and sweet, rich and sumptuous, and we are not talking about pastries; introducing our next Bali portrait, Rafi Papazian, the man behind Monsieur Spoon, the French mecca of bakers delight.

1. Hello Rafi, could you please shortly introduce yourself, name, age, job?

I am Rafi Papazian, 36 yo, entrepreneur and since 2011, founder, director and Executive chef of Monsieur Spoon. A
French Bakery in Bali. I always tried to live from my passions. I always allow myself the craziest dreams, and one day, I try to make one of them real!

2. Monsieur Spoon, when, how, why?

Monsieur spoon is my last dream that started in 2008 when I taught pastries through my youtube channel “inratable”,
which means “Can’t miss it”. When my channel became famous (I have celebrated the 12 millions of views last month) and complimented by French chefs and previous Ferrandi teachers, I felt ready to have my passion becoming a business: owning my own bakery in
Asia, it was in 2011. I tour for couple of months, and when I landed in Bali, it was it, no doubt!

3. A typical day of yours?

My typical day changed a lot since the launching, today, I am in my kitchen in Canggu very early morning, baking.
I am opening the shop at 6 am and welcoming the staff. I love to see their eyes barely open, still shy but coming with such a positive spirit. They prepare the shop while I do the jerk like talking in French eyes to eyes, pretending they will understand, my
coffee latte and 1 or 2 hot chocolatine in hands. I like to see the faces of the first customers of the day, Who will come at 6 for a coffee and hot croissant? And then a bit later I practice my yoga before going to the office/others shops.

4. Your main customers?

This is the thing I am so proud of. We have a melting pot of people from so different origins and cultural backgrounds.
Mainly expats, tourists and Indonesians. Returning customers have some breakfast habits mixing Croissants, Breads, Home Made Jams, coffee, juice and granola yoghurt also!

5. As more and more people promote healthy food, how do you explain the success of your delicious “butter made” pastries,
croissants etc?

French people eat croissants and butter, and fat cream since ages, they are not unhealthy….

I think people know how to balance between what “should be done” and what “they want to do” regarding who they are
and what they feel like. For instance, In Ubud we sell a lot of Almond Croissants, to mostly yogis on the way to Yoga Barn!

6. How would you describe the “french exception”?

It is a deep debate about being closed minds and open minds. Closed minds protect who you are. If you go to the middle
of France, you can have a baker who do not speak any language but “baking” Language. He talks to his oven and that’s it. He don’t want to listen to others, He just want to do 1 thing, do it well and transmitting it. He is naturally unfriendly, rough, he don’t
want to talk to you, can be rude sometimes because he tells what he thinks, no poker face, and completely closed mind. He is beautiful.

If you want to go towards him, you will need to spend some effort. Do it. This will be the best experience. The
problem of opening all borders and minds, is that we are all becoming the same and the “exception” is disappearing. French Exception is about cultural and intellectual borders and heritage protection. It is quite disappearing like a lot of differences, because
we make less and less effort to appreciate it.

7. New projects, new ideas for the near future?

New shops for sure, learning more about new products or trends to see if there is some beauty in them I will feel
inspire in. If it is the case, menus might change again at monsieur spoon!

8. Any advice for people who want to create a business here in Bali?

Think about the products at first, never the business. Business is important to protect your values and products,
but it comes as second, never as first. Always take your time, Time Frame is different here, appreciate it, ADAPT to it. Learn the language, live with Balinese couple of days, go to one of the major temple of the island before starting anything on the island.
Be happy to be stuck in a traffic jam caused by a Balinese ceremony. Love the island, get inspired by its spirit and talk to Balinese like you should with anyone, with respect of differences and be ready to learn a lot, because this is what will happen.

9. Who would you dream to have as a customer?

I would dream to have more Balinese as customers! Sometimes in Umalas I see the priest of the village dressed with
ceremonial clothing having a croissant break! Love that.

10. Your favorite dish?

My personal favorite dish goes with a lifestyle: Having a huge table filled with Lebanese mezze, family and friends
on a sunny afternoon, sharing love, smiles around loud debates! I love Mezzes or Spanish tapas, it is generous, colourful, easy to grab, simple and tasty!

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