La Madeleine, the French-inspired bakery café, announced a multi-unit agreement that continues to build momentum for its recently launched franchising initiative.


This is the brand’s second franchise agreement in its 30-year history, a move that further illuminates the concept’s strength and desire to elevate its footprint in select U.S. markets with seasoned restaurant owner/operator groups. The Dallas-based restaurant company, which has a collection of 64 corporate owned bakery cafés, has completed the deal with Franklin Mountain Bistro.


“This is the perfect fit for la Madeleine and represents a significant step in our franchise development strategy,” says Paul Carolan, chief development officer for Le Duff America Inc., the Dallas-based parent company of la Madeleine Country French Café. “La Madeleine has a unique ability to become deeply rooted in the communities it serves and the Franklin Mountain Bistro team is entrenched in El Paso—a fantastic pairing.”


Paul Foster and Alejandra De La Vega Foster, fixtures in the El Paso and neighboring Juarez, Mexico communities, are the principal owners behind bringing la Madeleine to El Paso and New Mexico. Following la Madeleine’s recent launch of its franchising program, the Fosters, who have always enjoyed frequent visits to la Madeleine during travels throughout the state, began the process of developing the brand in the Greater El Paso and New Mexico markets.


“It’s clear that la Madeleine guests absolutely love the food and atmosphere…and we share the same sentiments. From the get-go, we’ve been impressed with the loyalty the brand commands,” says De La Vega Foster, who also partners with her husband as the owner of a Starbucks in El Paso and serves as the owner/CEO of companies that operate nine Domino’s Pizza and more than 200 Del Rio convenience store locations in Juarez. “The brand attracts a wide variety of consumers, casting a net across many generations. It has extraordinary appeal, and there is not another fast casual eatery that comes close to offering the same experience in El Paso.”


Part of la Madeleine’s appeal is its consistent customer traffic throughout the day, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Currently, the concept offers a ground floor opportunity to become part of a brand known for its food and ambiance in the restaurant industry’s fast-casual sector.


“I have seen what it takes for a bakery café concept to be a game changer—to separate itself and rise above the competition. La Madeleine is now part of a rarefied group in fast casual franchising,” says Darren Bothe, senior director of franchise development for la Madeleine. “This agreement provides a fantastic springboard for us to continue growing outward from our core into key markets such as Colorado.”


The distinctive bakery café brings tastes of the French countryside to America. Freshly prepared, handcrafted menu items include specialties such as omelettes and quiche for breakfast, homemade soupes, salades, and sandwiches for lunch, and dinner entrées, savory crêpes, and pastas, as well as authentic French pâtisseries, viennoiserie, and breads.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Fast Casual, Growth, News, Pizza, La Madeleine