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Doubling Down: Paris Baguette Franchisees Expand in Kansas, Double Unit Count

Mike Issa and Moe Touffaha pursued business ownership with Paris Baguette after a positive experience franchising with IHOP. Now, the pair is expanding with Paris Baguette.

Mike Issa and Moe Touffaha fell in love with Paris Baguette* when they visited a New York location years ago. However, when they inquired about franchising in the Midwest, the brand was not looking to expand in that region. Four years later, that changed. Issa and Touffaha opened two incredibly successful Paris Baguette cafés in Wichita, Kansas and Birmingham, Michigan. 

Now, the duo is working to add a second location in Wichita and expand in Kansas City.

“Since opening the first location, we have gotten to know the process and operations very well,” Issa explained. “We’re very familiar with the brand, and our P&L looks good. People in our community also love our location, the brand and the pastries. That encouraged us to move forward with more locations.”

1851: What did you do before franchising?

Mike Issa:  We have been in franchising for 17 years. We first got into franchising with IHOP and opened our first location in 2004. We are also currently looking into a Popeyes franchise. Before joining the IHOP franchise, I started and ran my own shipping and freight company called Handle With Care Packaging Store out of Wichita, Kansas.

Moe and I got into franchising to be a part of a larger company that has a proven built-in support system. But it was also important that we were allowed to own the business while following the franchise’s standard operating procedure. 

1851: How long from the first time you learned about franchising until you inquired on the franchisor’s website?

Issa: I was interested four years ago, but unfortunately, Paris Baguette was not interested in expanding into Kansas at the time. When the brand decided to expand, a corporate member reached out, and I immediately jumped on the opportunity.

1851: How did you perform your research/due diligence?

Issa: We stopped by several locations in New York as customers and really liked the concept. We also liked the food and instantly wanted to bring this neighborhood bakery to Kansas. As part of our decision to become Paris Baguette franchisees, we spoke to a few franchisees and were able to see their success and their passion to serve freshly delicious pastries, cakes, breads and brewed drinks. 

1851: How many brands did you look at? 

Issa: I was only interested in Paris Baguette.

1851: What made you say “yes” to Paris Baguette? 

Issa: Paris Baguette has a unique concept in that they offer a wide variety of freshly baked goods daily—everything from pastries, cakes, croissants, breads and fresh-brewed drinks, which I first experienced as a customer. Once I learned more about the brand and its franchise model, I thought it would be a great fit in the Kansas and Michigan markets since there is nothing quite like it in the area.

I also really liked that Paris Baguette’s model targets markets that are seemingly untouched and in need of a brand such as this. Paris Baguette is focused on bringing a neighborhood feel to communities, so residents can come together in a friendly and welcoming environment. Once I saw the brand’s values, I knew I wanted to replicate that in the Kansas and Michigan communities.

1851: What could have scared you away? 

Issa: Nothing could have scared me away because I have extensive experience in franchising restaurant concepts and have been passionate about the Paris Baguette brand since I was first introduced to the concept as a customer.

1851: What makes you stand out as a unique business owner in the local community?

Issa: I have extensive experience in both the franchising and restaurant industry, so I know exactly how to open a business such as this. I have experience in staffing, accounting, human resources and setting up great benefits for my employees. My plan is to become integrated into the local community in each market I expand in. I would like to do charitable work through my businesses as well. I currently donate to Children’s Miracle Network and am passionate about using my businesses to help others. 

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

Issa: We hope to achieve the same success with Paris Baguette as my other franchise locations. We opened our first location in Birmingham, Michigan, in February 2022 and were overwhelmed by how the community responded. We were flooded with guests, and the feedback was incredibly positive. I am extremely happy that we were able to serve the community and get the chance to interact with our guests. We plan to open the first Paris Baguette in Wichita, Kansas, this July. That location is going to be incredible with its 3,000 square foot space and a patio with a transparent fireplace. I also plan to open a location in Overland Park, Kansas, in June of 2023.

1851: What do you do in your personal time?

Issa: Any free time I have, I’m spending it with my family. My wife and I are passionate about fitness so we spend a good amount of time at the gym. 

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

Issa: I’ve really enjoyed working in the restaurant industry since opening my first IHOP location in 2004. Through hard work and dedication, we now own 12 IHOP locations, eight of which have been built from the ground up. I’m extremely excited to find success with a new franchise that’s offering a new concept to Kansas and Michigan.

The total investment to franchise with Paris Baguette ranges from $652,565 to $1,750,900, including a $50,000 franchise fee. To find out more information on costs to buy this franchise, please visit 


Paris Baguette is a bakery café franchise with more than 4,000 units across the globe. The global 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 guests and help guests share moments of joy with their friends and family by providing world-class cakes, pastries, coffees, breads and other French-inspired bakery café fare. To find out more information on costs to buy this franchise, please visit

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