WHY I BOUGHT
This first-generation American is living his business dream with his ultra high-quality neighborhood bakery cafe from Paris Baguette.
Sean Kim and his family moved to the U.S. in 1987 and he immediately got to work looking for a better life and business opportunities. Now, after nearly 24 years of searching, he’s landed his dream opportunity with Paris Baguette, a global bakery cafe with 4,000 units around the world and more than 85 U.S. locations that delivers a top-notch product and strong unit-level economics.
Paris Baguette is an international bakery chain with roots that go back to 1945 and a dedication to traditional baking techniques. The brand has positioned itself to seize the bakery cafe space that other bakery concepts have abandoned in recent years. For Kim, who had extensive experience running retail operations, the opportunity to become his neighborhood’s hot spot for top notch baked goods was too good to pass up.
“I wanted something that looked really nice. High quality. I think that’s what people are looking for now,” said Kim.
In fact, Kim had stumbled on to a core strength of Paris Baguette that’s helping the brand spread quickly across the country. While other bakeries now relegate baked goods to a small corner of the store, Paris Baguette employs bakers, cakers and baristas that come in and bake fresh bread daily right where the customers can see it. Between the live show from the trade workers and the beautiful displays of baked goods, Paris Baguette exudes of quality to the American consumer, who is used to getting their cakes at a grocery store.
Kim’s location in McLean, Virginia is located in an office building near a bustling town that really lends itself to Paris Baguette’s neighborhood bakery cafe model.
“We were so excited to open,” said Kim. “We’re located right under an office building surrounded by condos and stuff in a suburban area, but there will be a lot of residential people stopping in. Normally, there’s a lot of traffic during the day. Our sales started to go up a few months later, especially with catering and lunchtime sandwiches.”
But soon Kim, like the rest of the world, would face the COVID pandemic. Kim said that he had no doubt his store would survive and is eager to work with the brand on opening more units after the vaccine has been widely distributed.
“For now, whenever I open another location post-corona, the layout of the restaurant will work for a post-COVID world,” said Kim. “I want people to come into the bakery cafe to take their time ordering and enjoying their meals.”
On that point, Kim shares his vision with Paris Baguette, which seeks to become the go-to for neighborhoods across the country as it aims to open 1,000 stores across the U.S. by 2030.
But Kim shares something even deeper with Paris Baguette — the desire to share the joy of fresh, high-quality baked goods with his neighborhood. For Kim, it’s the reason why he bought boils down to sales numbers and a best-in-class offering.
“I was a Paris Baguette customer,” said Kim. “I visited the New Jersey and New York locations, and I loved to try new stuff. I’m not the person who is easily affected by trends, but I like the food enough. After they opened their first US location ten years ago, I contacted the operating team and said I wanted to open one in Virginia. When I talked with the corporate team, the numbers they provided about AUV and operating costs were good enough. Honestly, it was more than what I expected. There was a franchise development guy who helped me pick a location. I have the urge to open another one because the product is excellent. I want to explore another location around here.”
ABOUT PARIS BAGUETTE:Paris Baguette is a bakery & café franchise with more than 4,000 units across the globe. The brand first arrived in the U.S. in 2005 and has since established nearly 90 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 https://us.parisbaguettefamily.com/