Whether it’s figuring out the next trending ingredient or how exactly to cut labor costs, the challenges of being a bakery owner are never-ending. It’s important to see what others are doing successfully, especially abroad. That’s why our Jan./Feb. issue focuses on Europain, held in the heart of Paris. It’s fitting that this four-day show took place there, as Paris continues to lead the way with new baking techniques, products, and ingredients that have the potential to transform the global artisan baking world.

Craft baking continues to progress to the benefit of all those looking for the next great product. And Europain shined the spotlight on these industry changing technologies and techniques.

Some of the major themes at Europain this year were health and alternative grains, fermented breads, and environmental awareness. “We’ve seen the increase in demand for organic products,” says Fabian Delamare, artisan baker from Delamare Boulangerie in Elbeuf, France. “The younger generations are more sensitive to this, and they expect things that are good for the environment and themselves.”

Speaking of trends, an innovator that is hoping to be a major trendsetter in the baking industry is Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. The San Francisco-based bakery is making headlines with its performance-based pay system, which has helped to lower costs and attract talent in an era of rising wages and automation.

When I spoke to its CEO and founder, Aaron Caddel, he made it clear that he was looking at the bigger picture: How a compensation structure that rewards effort and proficiency could improve output while keeping labor costs manageable, and how that could change the entire industry for the better.

“It’s made us more profitable, but we also may have been able to solve a very large problem that has been systemic internationally,” Caddel says.