On 1 October, French bakery group Paul will open its first Flemish store in Kortrijk, almost exactly three years after a first attempt to conquer the North of Belgium ended with the closure of its store in Antwerp.
11th Belgian store
The bakery will be located on the shopping mall's second floor, right across from clothing store H&M. The chain offers rustic bread, fantasy bread, pastries and deserts, but the customer can also sit down and eat in the store itself.
It will be the chain's 11th store in Belgium: Brussels received the very first in 2007, with another five to follow in the Belgian capital and one in Waterloo. Three so-called Petits-Paul stores are located in subway stations across Brussels, while another three will be added later this year.
125 years of experience
The French company has been around for 125 years and is being led by Francis Holder after his father (and the company's founder) died in 1958. Alongside his sons and daughter, he is working on expanding the brand, currently present in 36 countries.
Top Brands, the master franchiser for Belgium, not only manages Bakkerij Paul, but also has 209 Pizza Hut locations in Belgium and France. It also recently acquired the Wasbar formula, combining a launderette with a bar.