The Rehoboth Beach neighborhood of Sussex County, Delaware is about to get a French twist, thanks to our newest Franchise Owner, Ayhan Calik. As a long-time retail entrepreneur and restaurateur, Ayhan comes to us with decades of experience and knowledge about what it takes to run a successful business.
Though he’s quite busy preparing for the grand opening of his Le Macaron location in 2024, Ayhan took some time out of his day to chat with us about his franchise discovery
experience, his first impressions of our executive team, and his hopes for the future as a Le Macaron Franchise Owner. Here’s what he had to say.
Q: Thanks for talking with us today, Ayhan. Even though you’re Le Macaron’s newest Franchise Owner, this is certainly not your first entrepreneurial venture. Can you tell us a little about your background in the retail and restaurantindustries?
A: I have lived in Turkey for 45 years. As I have always been eager to open my own business, I opened my store when I was 20. In that store, I had run my business in the home and kitchen goods department for 25 years. Then, I decided to go to the USA to open a restaurant. Now, I still have the same restaurant that I opened 11 years ago. Being able to manage a restaurant very well always encouraged me to open a new
Q: That is a lot of experience! Deciding to open your own store at just 20 years of age is incredible. What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
A: My personality and what I had thought in my family led me to become an entrepreneur. I have always enjoyed having and running a business with my crew.
Q: How did you first become aware of the Le Macaron French Pastries franchise opportunity?
A: I noticed the name of Le Macaron on social media when I was doing research to find new ideas on future investment plans. Then, one day I was on a trip to Las Vegas. I saw one of the stores and went in to look around and to have a better understanding of the business. After my visit to the store, I decided to find more information about Le Macaron.
Q: What is it about the Le Macaron bakery franchise that you feel sets it apart from other franchise opportunities?
A: The main opportunity of being a part of the Le Macaron franchise is having the chance for any type of innovation. As the team is very modern and open-minded, it gives me an opportunity to come up with new ideas for my business. Another thing that definitely set Le Macaron apart from other bakery franchises for me was their work ethic. Knowing that it is a family-owned business who cares about the bonds with its franchisees is a big plus for my wife and me. Also, we were impressed by the homemade recipe of Le Macaron’s macarons.
Q: As a restaurant owner, what makes owning a bakery franchise like Le Macaron appealing to you?
A: I am very comfortable about becoming a part of a bakery franchise family, especially after running a restaurant business for 11 years. My wife and I have been talking about opening a bakery store in our area. As this is a small town with many tourists and locals, we thought that it would be a good idea to start a bakery business here.
Q: How much did Le Macaron’s emphasis on quality, authentic French pastries and elegant decor influence your choice to franchise with them?
A: It definitely has a big influence on me. Le Macaron has a big variety of pastries and other products in a shop. However, it is impressive seeing them keep the design of a shop and all the decorations simple and chic at the same time.
Q: As a Le Macaron franchise candidate, you were invited to a Discovery Day at their Sarasota, Florida headquarters. Can you tell us a little about that experience?
A: It was very informative and planned very well in detail for everyone. As we visited both the sales department and the production department, we had a better understanding of the vision and mission of the Le Macaron. It was a good opportunity to ask questions and get them answered by the Le Macaron team.
Q: Speaking of the team, how did you enjoy meeting the Le Macaron executive team in person on Discovery Day?
My family and I loved meeting the Founders in person because the atmosphere was very warm. Seeing that they are very kind, friendly and extremely supportive made us so happy. They are determined, very professional in training their team. I believe it will be very helpful for me to be successful opening a new store.
Q: Was there a particular moment during the experience where it felt like a lightbulb went off and you just knew you were meant to be a Franchise Owner?
The first “lightbulb” moment for me was visiting the Le Macaron bakery cafe in Doylestown, PA. And after attending the Discovery Day, I felt that I was all ready to own a Le Macaron bakery and coffee franchise.
Q: What has been your best experience with Le Macaron’s corporate team so far?
A: First of all, I would like to mention Le Macaron’s Franchise Development Director,Kera Vo. She is extremely helpful and kind. Being able to reach her and the team at Le Macaron anytime, getting answers for all of my questions by them is the best experience so far.
Q: As a seasoned entrepreneur, are there any tips for success that you are bringing with you into this new endeavor?
A: In my opinion, the key point to be successful in a business is to have effective communication with both the crew and the customers. The more the people are happy with my management, the more I become encouraged to improve my job. Having a clean work environment is another rule, which also helps me a lot to be successful.
Q: What advice would you give to a potential Franchise Owner who’s just beginning the Franchise Discovery Process?
A: I would highly advise that being aware of the surroundings of the store is very important to start with. A potential Franchise Owner should be ready to be active every day, be open-minded and should be ready to work as a team member of a family-owned business.
Q: Last but not least, what are you looking forward to most about owning your own Le Macaron French Pastries café?
A: I am looking forward to running this business very successfully and educating people in this area about the reputation of Le Macaron. Congratulations, Ayhan and family, on what we hope is the latest in a long line of sweet successes in entrepreneurship!
Ayhan’s story is unique, but you don’t have to have decades of experience in owning a business to invest in a Le Macaron franchise. Visit our website for more details on how to get started.