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Multi-Unit Ramen Bar Franchisee Adds Paris Baguette to Atlanta Restaurant Portfolio

William Chen and his team are bringing four Paris Baguette locations to Atlanta.

By Victoria CampisiStaff Writer
10:10AM 09/15/23

William Chen got into franchising after 19 years in the IT industry. In 2016, he and a team of investors introduced JINYA Ramen Bar to the Atlanta market. Now, the same team behind five successful locations is bringing Paris Baguette* to the area. This bakery café concept has 4,000 units worldwide, including nearly 150 in the United States. 

After pioneering the introduction of ramen to the Atlanta market, Chen says the team was looking for a brand to complement its portfolio and bring something new to the community. Seeing that a homestyle, community bakery concept was missing, they thought Paris Baguette would be the perfect fit. The team signed on to bring four locations to the market, with the first expected to open later this year. 

1851 Franchise spoke to Chen about his franchising journey with Paris Baguette. 

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

Chen: Before franchising, I was in the IT industry for 19 years. In 2015, a few of my partners approached me about getting into the service industry. They started looking at different concepts, and we came across a JINYA Ramen Bar in Los Angeles. We ended up signing up for our first store in 2015. We found a location in Atlanta and got it open by 2016. That ended up being very successful and, a year later, we opened our second one. In 2019, right before the pandemic, we opened our third store. We were on a good track of growth in Atlanta. Ramen was kind of a new thing in the Southeast. It interested a lot of people, and we were the pioneers of bringing it to the area. In 2022, we opened our fourth and fifth locations in Atlanta. 

In 2022, we started to explore other concepts that would complement what we were doing and not compete. We found a Paris Baguette, and it caught our attention. There were two or three on the market that we frequented and enjoyed. The atmosphere was appealing, and we enjoyed the products. We started reaching out to the corporate team about bringing additional units to Atlanta. We signed on for four, and we are currently working with the real estate team to find the right location for that first one. 

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?

Chen: I felt it was a good thing for someone like me with no service background because there’s already systems and procedures in place that can easily be transferable. I knew it was something that could help us get off the ground. It had to be a concept that we liked and wanted to get involved in. Franchising was a great benefit for us since we weren't coming from a service industry.

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

Chen: Paris Baguette has a very unique brand. When you walk in, its aesthetics are very appealing, it’s very bright. The food, the bakery, the drinks and the cakes are very enticing. We tried several different locations, and they are always very consistent. The home community bakery concept was missing in the Atlanta area. We also thought it was a great opportunity to open next to JINYA to compliment that same customer base. It’s somewhere they can go before or after dinner. 

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

Chen: We’re hoping to grow with the brand. The foot traffic we get from having a JINYA next door should help to increase sales on both sides. We’re looking to grow as many as we can. I purchased locations in other states for JINYA, so I want to take Paris Baguette to those states as well, once I get my footprint there. 

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

Chen: If you really want to get into the franchising business, it's not as hard as you may think. You need to put in the time, and you have to study the brand and like the product. As someone coming from IT and stepping into the service industry, it was scary at first. But when you find a good system that can help you, anything is possible. 

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

Chen: Have the passion, and put in the time and hard work. Like anything, if you put in the time you’ll reap the rewards. 


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.