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Longtime Fan of the Brand, Richard Choi Signs to Bring Paris Baguette to Montrose

Choi is a longtime fan of Paris Baguette. When he discovered the brand was offering franchises in America, he applied to bring the brand to Montrose.

As he grew up in the Glendale area, Richard Choi was aware of Paris Baguette* thanks to its strong presence in the greater LA community. During his time with an international trading firm, Choi would often travel to South Korea, and Paris Baguette’s strong presence was both familiar and much appreciated.

During COVID-related lockdowns, Choi found himself with additional time and was soon diving into franchise research. When he learned that Paris Baguette was offering franchises in the States, he was surprised that one had not been opened in his hometown and decided to inquire. Now, he is slated to open a Paris Baguette bakery café in Montrose early next year.

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

Choi: I originally grew up in the Glendale area. I was born here and went to school here. I went to college in southern California, and after a few years of work around the state, I returned to Glendale. I’ve worked for an international trading firm for the past 15 years, and we specialize in military air force products. We represent U.S. companies in South Korea, so I found myself traveling to South Korea quite a bit for work.

Growing up around LA, I was familiar with the Paris Baguette brand. When I would travel to Seoul, Paris Baguette was something familiar, and I eventually fell in love with the products. A couple of years ago, I learned that Paris Baguette had started to franchise in America, and after a certain point in time, I decided I was ready to take the next step to business ownership. I decided to apply and luckily was approved on my first try. I started as a guest and fan, and now I’m excited to be a future owner.

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?

Choi: My awareness of the franchise industry as a whole was somewhat shallow, and I continue to learn as I move through the process. I was aware of the general concept, the trade-offs it required and the reasons why a person would want to go with a franchise rather than trying to build something on their own.

This wasn’t an overnight decision; I mulled over it for a while. These past few years, we’ve been stuck at home with an enormous amount of free time to explore different avenues. Around the 2020 lockdown, I really fell into a rabbit hole of exploring franchises, and I decided that Paris Baguette was the one I wanted to pursue. The brand fits my personality and what I want out of owning a business. 

Once you get over the hurdle of deciding whether a company is healthy and has growth potential, the next question is whether it’s a good match for you. For franchising in general, I think people should know that it’s likely more expensive than you ever imagined, and you need to be prepared for that. The nature of the macro-economy can change on a dime, and you can’t control that. You need to be prepared to push forward.

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

Choi: Paris Baguette fit my personality and what I wanted out of business ownership. The brand is growing and profitable, and it has a strong presence in the community we will be opening in. I’m confident that the demand is there.

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

Choi: If this first store is successful and we become established, I would like to expand out in this local area. The Paris Baguette brand has great potential for growth in our area.

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

Choi: My intimate knowledge of the local area and market gives me a unique perspective. I feel like this brand fits the local area so perfectly that I’m actually surprised no one had tried to establish a location before. I believe that the brand can be extremely successful in our area. 

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

Choi: There are a lot of things to consider. For a person that would be looking to pick up a franchise rather than starting their own business from scratch, they will want to be ready to hit the ground running. There needs to be a strong belief in a certain brand and a desire to be a part of that story. You need to make sure that you align with the systems and processes the potential franchise already has in place. With this, it can be a great match.

You should also look at things from a numbers standpoint before getting into the emotional aspect. The numbers aren’t guaranteed, but you need to find something that you believe definitely has the potential to succeed.


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.