There are several bakeries in the small town which we live in. There are chain bakeries and privately owned bakeries. Most people have a favorite. While almost all the stores in town are closed on Sunday, most bakeries are open. As my French professor told me, bread is just "too important" for the bakery to be closed for a day. Many are even open on national holidays.
When it comes to food, the French have a lot to offer (like some amazing cheeses) but from our experience there is no more important food to a French person than bread.