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Le Duff America’s new CEO eyes bakery opportunities

Olivier Poirot renews focus on la Madeleine, Bruegger's franchising

Le Duff America Inc., the Dallas-based subsidiary of Groupe Le Duff, is renewing its focus on franchising, especially for its La Madeleine Country French Café and Bruegger’s Bagels concepts, new CEO Olivier Poirot says. 

In July, Poirot was named CEO of the international bakery conglomerate Groupe Le Duff’s Dallas-based subsidiary. He is leading “a multi-brand initiative to accelerate growth through a renewed focus on franchising,” the company said in announcing his appointment Friday.

Le Duff America also owns the Brioche Dorée and Mimi’s Café brands.

Poirot most recently served as senior vice president and chief financial officer of Sodexo North America. Poirot succeeded Claude Bergeron, who had served as sole CEO at Le Duff America, after co-CEO Jim Vinz left in 2014, and is no longer with the company.

Poirot has a background in franchised hospitality companies. Before Sodexo, he served as CEO of hotelier Accor North America, overseeing operations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. 

"We see huge opportunity, particularly for La Madeleine and Bruegger's Bagels in 2017, to expand exponentially through aggressive franchising efforts," Poirot said in a statement.

The company said it plans to pursue multi-unit franchisees for its La Madeleine brand and franchise development for Bruegger’s in in current corporate-owned markets.

Among its other U.S. brands, the company plans to open three to six corporate Brioche Dorée locations in 2018, with franchise development expected in subsequent years. 

Mimi's Café, purchased by Le Duff in 2013, plans to renovate two of its California restaurants, and will roll out menu updates at its nearly 100 locations in 18 states.

Le Duff America Inc. is a subsidiary of Rennes, France-based Groupe Le Duff, which has nearly 1,700 bakery-cafés worldwide. 

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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