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French Baker Promises ‘Mad Alchemy’ at His Northern Liberties Boulangerie

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Expect black charcoal bread and sourdough bagels


Northern Liberties is getting an authentic French bakery from an authentic French baker. Marc Basile, born and raised in France, is opening The Kettle Black at 631 N. 2nd Street with his wife, Claire Ogilvie. They’re hoping to be ready to serve their first customers this week, opening the doors on Thursday or Friday.

The Kettle Black will focus on bread, as a boulangerie does, but it’s not just crusty French baguettes on the menu. Expect naturally leavened bagels and loaves, pitch black activated charcoal breads, and croissants made with Amish butter instead of the traditional European-style cultured version.

“Marc has been busy honing our bread program — he says he is going for ‘mad alchemy meets traditional French baking,’” Ogilvie says.

Ogilvie, who’s originally from the Midwest but has been living in Northern Liberties with Basile for six years, says with The Kettle Black they’re looking to avoid dietary issues that can come with mass-produced yeast breads. The charcoal bread, she says, is great for digestion.

Bread at The Kettle Black

The shop will also sell sandwiches, along with coffee from Peddler, a roasting company in the Art Museum neighborhood. Lancaster County-based Kreider Farms will provide the dairy.

The Kettle Black is Philly’s second French bakery to open this month. J’aime, from Bastien Ornando, is selling bread, croissants, pastries, and La Colombe coffee at 12th and Locust.

The Kettle Black

The Kettle Black

631 North 2nd Street, , PA 19123 Visit Website