Few of us have the capacity to truly reinvent ourselves. Gus Reckel, the owner-baker behind L’Imprimerie, seems to be one of those few. Before opening his Bushwick coffee shop and bakery last summer, the Frenchman had a nearly 20-year career as an investment banker, working in Paris, Zurich, and London until finally landing in New York three years ago. Later, he left to study the craft of baking, grew a long beard, and opened his own boutique bakery in a former print shop under the M train tracks.
(Video courtesy of Joel Wolfram)
Reckel uses words like “humble” and “practical” to describe his work as a baker, in clear contrast to the flashy world of finance and its intangible transfers of capital. Yet his new routine sounds as kinetic as his past life.
“I do everything from A to Z,” says Reckel, who now starts his days at 4 a.m. to make crusty French breads and pastries and get the shop ready for its early-bird 6 a.m. opening.
On one such early morning in November, Reckel gave us a glimpse behind the scenes at L’Imprimerie and talked about his transformation from banker to baker.