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After Noticing a Need in New York, Alex Hsieh Signed to Expand with Paris Baguette

The New York entrepreneur, who already owns three locations in the state, has recently signed for a fourth and says there are many more in the pipeline.

Alex Hsieh, a lifetime entrepreneur, has never approached business with a focus on what he wants. Rather, he says, he works to identify a need in the community, research potential solutions and bring the best-fit business to the area. Recently, this approach led him to Paris Baguette*.

As a loyal customer himself, Hsieh knew the value of having a Paris Baguette in the community; he would even drive from Long Island to Queens to get Paris Baguette cakes. Now, with two locations on Long Island and one in Queens, he has signed to bring a bakery café to Staten Island.

1851 Franchise: Frame your personal story for us. What did you do before franchising, and how did you decide franchising made sense for you?

HsiehI started with self-owned businesses in 1992. For my career, I went straight into business ownership. Back then, it was all cell phones and pagers. That slowed down a little bit, the telecommunications industry changed, and I realized that the only business that will survive is food and entertainment, so I began to shift.

About eight years ago, we got involved with bubble tea — Gong Cha. We started creating more Gong Cha locations and also became licensed Starbucks operators. My approach has never been that I choose a business I want to open; I just look around and see what the area needs. I really believed that Long Island needed a Paris Baguette, because the closest one was in Queens. I was driving to Queens just to buy a cake. So, that’s how I got involved with Paris Baguette. 

We built one and acquired one on Long Island, acquired a corporate store in Queens and now Staten Island is where the need is. For the Staten Island location, I am partnering with our Gong Cha team from the Staten Island Mall, and I have another business partner for locations on Long Island.

1851: What was your perception of franchising prior to becoming a franchisee, and what do you want people to know about franchising now that you are in it?

HsiehI thought it would be easier for me to go with a franchise because you get all kinds of support. You don’t have to spend many, many hours figuring stuff out… You just follow the SOPs. At the end, you do pay a lot of royalties, but it’s worth it for the sense of protection. You know you already have a die-hard customer and a loyal client base.

1851: What made you pick this brand? What excites you most about this company?

HsiehThere’s a need. Out of all the competing brands, Paris Baguette has a stronger team, and they are very aggressively developing. It's a great team to work with. I’ve been their customer for the last 15 years. I love the brand, and I know other people do, too.

1851: What do you hope to achieve with your business? What are your plans for growth? 

HsiehWe probably have 10 Paris Baguette locations in the pipeline right now. We are the exclusive developers for Long Island — there will be a minimum of six locations there. We plan to have two more in Staten Island. We’ve not quite found a second location, but that will probably be close to the Staten Island Mall. The remaining locations will be in the other borough. 

1851: What is the one thing about your story you want us to know?

HsiehI always had a plan. I told myself, “If this works, I’ll multiply by 10. If it’s good, I’ll do 10 more locations.”

I believe that money can look for you. Do the best you can, be a better person and have a vision, and it will come to you.

1851: What advice do you have for other people thinking about becoming a franchise owner?

HsiehNever give up. You really have to set a goal and have a plan. A lot of people don’t have that goal set up and aren’t willing to make changes or stay out of their comfort zone. 


Paris Baguette is a bakery café franchise with more than 4,000 units across the globe. The brand first franchised in the U.S. in 2015 and has since established nearly 150 locations in markets across the country, making it one of the premier franchise opportunities in its category. Paris Baguette’s primary mission, executed every day by its expert staff of bakers, cakers and baristas, is to share moments of joy with customers and help customers share moments of joy with their friends and family by providing world-class cakes, pastries, coffees, breads and other French-inspired bakery café fare. For more information, please visit

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.