It’s time to say “bonjour!” to a new lineup of bakery cafes in the north. Canada will get its first Paris Baguette when the internationally beloved bakery-cafe opens its flagship location in the heart of downtown Toronto in June 2022.
Already a far-flung pastry empire, Paris Baguette has nearly 4,000 bakery cafes scattered around the globe, including locations in Paris, New York, San Francisco, London, Singapore, Seoul and more. The company plans to have as many as 100 franchise locations in Canada by 2030, including additional cafes in Toronto, as well as locations in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Quebec.
“It’s taken far too long for this beloved brand to enter Canada,” says Jack Moran, CEO of Paris Baguette Canada. “With a flagship location in Toronto as a starting position, we believe Canadians will quickly realize why the rest of the world is so passionate about Paris Baguette.”
Bringing Back Tradition to Pastry
Paris Baguette developed its stellar reputation by respecting the tradition of French croissant and patisserie, offering a menu of hand-baked pastries and breads alongside rich coffee and espresso and hard-to-resist, decadent layer cakes (which have become the must-have for birthday parties from Bahrain to Beijing).
“Doing pastry and cakes the right way is a difficult enterprise,” says Moran. “That’s why it’s almost impossible to find a place that offers high-end layer cakes. The mom-and-pop baker who used to be on every corner in Canada is gone. Supermarket cakes simply don’t compare to a cake that’s made fresh, on-site, every day, using perfected recipes that value tradition.”
Light, airy and elegant, Paris Baguette cakes have become favourites to bring to a party, whether for a special occasion, Mother’s Day, Christmas or a graduation celebration. Additionally, the upscale, Parisian vibe of the stores provides a charming place to go for a bite of dessert on a date or after a movie.
“There’s simply no other competitor in Canada offering what Paris Baguette does. We stand alone in this category,” said Moran. “We’re specialists in pastry, whether you want warm croissants and coffee on your way to work, or sandwiches served on housemade bread served in a casually sophisticated ambiance for lunch. Add to that our show-stopping layer cakes and it all adds up to an experience that customers won’t find anywhere else.”
A Favorite of Franchisees
With plans to open 100 stores in the next nine years, Canadian franchisees are excited about the prospect of bringing the popular brand to their city. News of a finalized Franchise Disclosure Document for Canada sparked immediate interest in the provinces.
Thanks to its focused menu, small store footprint and leading brand status, Paris Baguette is an attractive brand for franchising across the world — including during periods of uncertainty like those experienced by restaurants in 2020.
In 2020, Paris Baguette franchise locations in the United States brought in tremendous sales growth — $2,235,198 average unit volume across the system*, according to the Franchise Disclosure Document.
Not only did the brand continue serving customers throughout 2020, it actually saw marked increases in key areas. On Mother’s Day, one of the biggest sales days of the year for cakes — one of Paris Baguettes’ specialties — the franchise sold more cakes systemwide than any previous year.
The Paris Baguette America experience also demonstrated the power of having a small team: each location requires just a small team of focused professionals — “cakers, bakers and baristas” — who are dedicated to perfectly executing the brand’s artisanal recipes: elevated cakes, cookies, pastries and seasonal specialties, in addition to delicious cups of refreshing iced or piping-hot coffee.
Moreover, Paris Baguette’s operational model was engineered to reduce labour and allow franchisees and employees a favourable work-life balance. As companies struggled to hire and retain the best teams, this has been a significant advantage for franchise operations.
“A few years ago, Paris Baguette didn’t have the brand recognition it has now,” says Jung Ahn, who owns a Paris Baguette in Philadelphia. “It’s been very exciting to see the brand gain more popularity, and now I’m a part of that growth.”
A Uniquely Lucrative Investment
By combining a streamlined operational model and small footprint with a dedication to handcrafted, housemade offerings, Paris Baguette worldwide franchise operations show that efficiency, ease-of-operations and a great team dedicated to Parisian-style perfection make an ideal investment for experienced franchise owners and first-time entrepreneurs alike.
Canadian investors are bound to see the same results. The brand plans to start in the Greater Toronto Area, then expand to neighboring provinces.