Korean bakery chain Paris Baguette looks to open six cafes in Ottawa

Paris Baguette
The Paris Baguette cafes have an extensive footprint for a "welcoming" community space. Photo provided.

A South Korean bakery-cafe chain is setting its sights on Ottawa for the next step in its global expansion.

Paris Baguette, a multinational chain based in Seoul, says it plans to bring six cafes to the nation’s capital by the end of the year.

Mathew Miskiman, senior manager for real estate and franchise development in Canada for Paris Baguette, said expanding to Ottawa is close to his heart – although he’s now based in New York City, he was raised in Kanata.

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“I grew up in the Ottawa region, so it’s exciting to bring these cafes to new communities and start mapping out growth in Ottawa,” Miskiman told OBJ. “Every day, there’s a neighbourly community cafe that closes its doors. That’s what Paris Baguette can offer.”

With more than 4,000 stores worldwide, the Paris Baguette franchise has expanded into countries such as Vietnam, China, France and Singapore. The chain operates 167 locations in the United States, with its offerings of fresh-baked goods, including cakes and pastries.

In 2023, Paris Baguette broke into the Canadian market, where it now has two locations in the Greater Toronto Area and three in Alberta. But as the franchise looks to continue its rapid expansion, Miskiman said Ottawa is a perfect fit for the chain’s community-focused brand.

He said the company has mapped out its top six potential locations – the Rideau Centre, Westboro, Bank Street, Barrhaven, Kanata and Orléans – and is awaiting the selection of franchisees. 

“I’ve highlighted the properties and been strategic with selecting the real estate,” Miskiman explained. “It’s a long journey, and there’s no rush to find the right (franchisee), but I know when we’ve found them. That’s what we’re working on now.”

He said market studies conducted by Paris Baguette suggested residents of the National Capital Region fit the chain’s ideal customer profile.

“Our research showed that Ottawans have the ability to take the family to go grab a pastry, stop by after a sports game, that kind of thing,” Miskiman explained. “They have that disposable income and desire to spend it here. We’re just adding Paris Baguette as an option.”

The cafes average about 3,000 square feet, making them a feature tenant in most properties, he added, noting stores often bring in 1,000 customers on a busy Saturday.

As a native Ottawan, Miskiman said he can “already see the cafes” on the streets of the city and is looking forward to opening patio spaces in the cafes. 

“I’m thinking about downtown Ottawa, the pedestrian traffic, and that walking experience around the canal, which is exactly in line with our vision,” he explained. “The cafes will capitalize on the beauty of Ottawa, the Market, the Canal, all those things.

“I mean, it’s the national capital. I grew up here,” Miskiman continued. “We could have opened already, but I’m picky with the people we choose in my neck of the woods. But we know the cafes can do better in Ottawa than anywhere else in the world.”

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