Paris Baguette’s Chief Development Officer Mark Mele discusses the brand’s potential in the Canadian market after a Toronto opening in March 2023.
By Morgan Wood, 1851 Franchise
Paris Baguette, the global bakery café concept with over 4,000 units nationwide, has launched an aggressive growth effort as it expands in the Canadian market. After opening its first Canadian location in Toronto in March of this year, the concept has already begun development on multiple locations in surrounding areas.
Though Paris Baguette has seen remarkable growth in the U.S. in recent years, it identified Canada as another prime market for business expansion, largely thanks to the population explosion currently happening there.
“We felt like the bakery café space needed a Paris Baguette,” Mele said. “The people in Canada know Paris Baguette, and when we looked at what province or provinces we would roll out in, the natural progression would be to roll into Toronto, Alberta, Edmonton and Vancouver because of that population explosion.”
The brand has been received well by prospective franchisees and has already executed nearly 20 agreements in the past few months.
The first unit, which opened in March in Toronto, has already taken off and is working to drive additional franchisee interest in the Toronto market. As it grows, Paris Baguette is launching both franchised and corporate-run bakery cafés as it works to open a total of seven units before the end of the year.
While some hopeful franchisors look to Canada for growth, but leave the efforts up to the investors, Paris Baguette is growing alongside its owners. By developing franchised and corporate locations concurrently, Paris Baguette is demonstrating its confidence in the market while taking a growth approach that will increase brand recognition and better support the brand’s overall expansion which, naturally, will support the success of individual locations.
“We did the same thing in the U.S. for years and again, recently, in the U.S. to really energize the growth of the flagship markets around the country,” Mele explained. “We just mirrored that. We’re going into Canada with intentions to start in Toronto with a few remarkable flagship-type locations that we’ll put corporate money into and grow from there.”
By planting what Mele calls “corporate seeds” in lifestyle centers and key locations in both urban and suburban areas, the corporate team has carefully laid plans to drive brand recognition in a way very similar to the one that drove the brand’s explosion in the U.S.
“Everything that’s happening there is on purpose,” he explained.
When Paris Baguette first started expanding in the States, it focused heavily on suburban America where the bakery café model could succeed.
“The makeup of Canada is very similar,” Mele said. “It is a different country, but within its bakery café space, you see a lot of smaller bakeries that operate. There are a few chains, but nothing like Paris Baguette.”
Because of the brand’s product quality and consistency, Paris Baguette doesn’t require a specialized market to succeed. Mele explained that you can easily walk into a Paris Baguette bakery café, and regardless of where you are, the guests will be enjoying breads, cakes, pastries, coffee, salads and sandwiches.
As the Paris Baguette quality is maintained, the brand is able to expand and excel just about anywhere where there’s demand for fresh-baked goods.
Mele encourages prospective investors to look at the sector very closely. Over the years, bakery cafés have begun to dwindle or pivot toward an eatery model, and there is a growing gap in the market.
“We are remaining true. We are baking every day in every café,” he said. “We’re backfilling a huge void in the U.S., in Canada and throughout the world.”
Restaurateurs and already-successful business owners have noticed Paris Baguette’s success and are looking to invest, and these investments are a strong testament to the strength of the model and the potential for its future.
“It’s the right brand at the right time,” Mele added.
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The total investment to franchise with Paris Baguette ranges from $652,565 to $1,750,900 including a $50,000 franchise fee. For more information, please visit https://1851franchise.com/parisbaguettecanada/info.
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