"This machine is, above all, a service. We are going to offer quality service to people who need this service. There are a lot of people working off hours, who work at night, the police, nurses, doctors, firemen, taxi drivers. All of these people have the right to eat fresh bread."
"I don''t believe it at all (that French fear automated machines) because the French are foremost ''bon-vivants'', they like good things, they like to eat well. France is well known for its good bread and this bread is going to be restored in value by this machine here because it will be served hot. The bread is hot and crispy and served by this machine here."
15. Baguette falling into slot of the machine
16. Isabelle Urdapilleta tasting a baguette offered by Jean-Louis Hecht
17. SOUNDBITE (French) Isabelle Urdapilleta, local resident:
"It''s the fact that it is in the machine that bothers me. Bread is like fruit and vegetables, it is supposed to be sold in the market. It is not supposed to be sold hermetically-sealed in a supermarket and this is exactly the same. I don''t want to buy bread from a machine. I want to say ''hi'' to my baker and see her face and know that it is she who made the bread and be happy otherwise I won''t be happy eating it."
18. Urdapilleta walking off with baguette
19. Another customer taking baguette offered by Hecht from the dispenser and walking off with it
A French baker thinks he has found the answer to the problem of getting a fresh, warm baguette, when France''s thousands of bakeries are closed.
Jean-Louis Hecht has rolled out a 24-hour automated baguette dispenser, promising warm bread for hungry night owls, shift workers or anyone else who doesn''t have time to pick one up during their bakery''s opening hours.
"There are a lot of people working off hours, who work at night, the police, nurses, doctors, firemen, taxi drivers. All of these people have the right to eat fresh bread," Hecht said.
The vending machines take partially cooked loaves, bake them and deliver them steaming within seconds to customers, all for one euro (one dollar, 42 cents).
Hecht currently only operates two machines, one in Paris, another in the town of Hombourg-Haut in northeastern France, each next to his own bakeries.
Hecht foresees expansion in Paris, around Europe and even the US
Despite the expansion of fast-food chains, (m) millions of French remain true to their beloved baguette: it is still a staple of breakfast in France - most often with butter and jam - and the preferred accompaniment for lunch, dinner and cheese.
Yet customer convenience here often takes a back seat to lifestyle rhythms. Many stores in small towns and even lower-traffic areas of Paris close for lunchtime.
And in August, many businesses - including bakeries - shut down for part or all of the summer holiday month.
Late-night supermarkets are rare, even in Paris. And they''re generally seen as a source of low-grade, desperation bread, not the artisanal product of a certified baker.
Hecht wants his automated baguette machine to fill in the gaps.
But judging from some of the feedback he''s been getting, Hecht will have to convince many people that his automated baguette machine is the future.
"I don''t want to buy bread from a machine. I want to say ''hi'' to my baker and see her face and know that it is she who made the bread and be happy otherwise I won''t be happy eating it," said Isabelle Urdapilleta.