We’re proud to welcome another new French pastry Franchise Owner to the Le Macaron family! Bobbi Jo Blanton is gearing up for the grand opening of her first of three Le Macaron locations in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. It’s an exciting, busy time for Bobbi Jo but we were able to catch up with her and hear about her franchise discovery experience, her favorite aspects of her new macaron business, and much more. Here’s what she had to say:
We understand you have a background in business management. Can you tell us a little bit about what you were doing before becoming a Le Macaron Franchise Owner?
I have a BA in Accounting/Finance and a MBA in Business. I previously owned a multiple location engineering/design/machined component business for 20-plus years. Both my husband and I are business operators and owners with backgrounds in business strategy and operations.
What are some of the things you enjoy doing in your spare time when you’re not working on bringing authentic French pastries to the Grand Rapids area?
I like spending time with family; volunteering with non-profit organizations, doing home improvement projects, golf and watching our sons play sports.
How did you first become aware of the Le Macaron franchise opportunity?
We stumbled on it while we were on spring break in Florida. We were looking for a place that sold macarons because my son and I love macarons, and while searching we saw the Le Macaron franchise and we decided to explore it. We then decided that it was for us and we wanted to bring it to Michigan.
What makes Le Macaron a good franchise fit for you?
I like that it’s a family business with a unique product. Le Macaron is very interesting because it provides authentic French pastries; however, you do not need to have a pastry chef on staff. The franchise is more of a distributor and the café provides a unique setting to enjoy the pastries.
What did you like about the Le Macaron bakery franchise?
The simplicity of the business model! The confectionary makes the products so all we have to do is understand our customer and product mix. It’s a “plug and play” model.
Let’s talk about Discovery Day at the Le Macaron headquarters in Sarasota. How did you enjoy meeting the Founders?
The family oriented nature of the Le Macaron franchise was a selling point. I really like the Founders’ belief in the American dream and working hard and capitalizing on the opportunity.
Are there any other fun aspects of your Discovery Day that you’d like to talk about?
The confectionary tour was awesome. I really enjoyed seeing how the product is made and building a relationship with the family. Discovery Day gave me an opportunity to understand the Founders’ story and their love for bringing this business to America.
Was there a particular “a-ha” or “lightbulb” moment that made you want to franchise with Le Macaron?
I love that it’s more than just macarons, and it can be more than a café. There is a catering side, a corporate gifts side, and many unique ways for us to create value and connect to the community we live in.
What do you think will make you successful with your Le Macaron bakery franchise?
We already were entrepreneurs and have a background in business. Our experience in business helps us understand that this is about people, strategy, vision and community connection. I think that is what will make us successful. Also, I believe I am a good leader. I am organized, detailed and creative. I love working with people and one of my leadership qualities is making others happy. I believe Le Macaron is a great fit because I will create an environment to make customers happy by enjoying the products.
What advice would you give to a prospective Franchise Owner who is in the discovery process?
Do your research, and be sure to find a good location.
We know you’re focused on opening your first location right now, what is your plan to open your second and third location as an Area Developer?
For the first six months after opening, I will work on marketing the business and getting the product name known within the Grand Rapids area. My younger brother has a marketing company and has been very successful in marketing strategies for my previous business and many other businesses across the country. I will work with him to develop the right local strategy for Le Macaron.
After we have established our name and a client base I would like to focus on catering and events. Once we have successfully completed that and are operating in a cash positive position, I would like to start planning the opening of a second location in year two.
Long term, we would like to continue to market our products in the to-be-determined area of the second location and again focus on catering and events once the product and name are familiar in the area. I am hoping that this would take less than a year before we could start planning a third location! By that time, we would also like to have a manager at each of the locations that is in charge of the day-to-day operations.
Finally, what are you looking forward to most about owning your own Le Macaron French Pastries?
I’m looking forward to seeing the impact it can have on our community and how that impacts relationships of all different kinds; like through non-profit partnerships and team member development. We’re excited for Bobbi Jo and her family, and wish them all the best in their Grand Rapids macaron franchise location! Are you interested in ditching the corporate 9-to-5 grind and finding sweet success as a business owner? Le Macaron is now awarding franchises in select U.S. cities. See if you qualify to begin our macaron franchise discovery process by visiting our franchise website.
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