Introducing: MICHEL ET AUGUSTIN!
A French Cookie Phenomenon Ready to Take a Bite of the USA
10 years ago, childhood friends Michel de Rovira and Augustin Paluel-Marmont started baking in Augustin’s tiny Parisian apartment with two simple ideas:
> To create “supersonic,” indulgent, and tasty cookies with simple, all natural, high quality ingredients;
> To live and share an everyday, real story about passion, pastry, and entrepreneurship.
By 2015, Michel et Augustin led France’s premium cookie category, having edged out giants including Pepperidge Farm,
with 24.8% market share (IRI) and $35 Million in net sales, a figure that is particularly impressive considering the small
size of the French market. Michel et Augustin recipes were exported to 23 European and Asian countries, as well.
Next up: the U.S.! Antoine Chauvel, who had been with the company nearly from the beginning, arrived in Brooklyn in February, 2015. By April, he had rented office space, started hiring, and hit the streets to sell in a very entrepreneurial way: day after day, store after store. By August, Michel et Augustin cookies could be found in more than 500 stores, from grocery chains to high-end independents (ex.: Fairway Market, Morton Williams, Gristedes, Central Market in Texas). In Manhattan’s Bedford Cheese Shop, they caught the eye of a Starbucks buyer, leading to a test run in 25 stores in New York City; then 415 stores in New York, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia; and as of January 5th, 2016 a national roll-out into 7,624 Starbucks, comprising every one of the United States (a spectacular social media effort, #AllezHowardUnCafe, supported this). Augustin – along with his wife and five children – relocated from Paris to Brooklyn, and the company’s office in Gowanus, Brooklyn will open this February.
How is this kind of success possible? Michel and Augustin’s simple mission is “to cheerfully empower people by living and sharing an offbeat human adventure based on genuine food experiences,” and their happy tribe certainly shows this is true. The corporate offices, called Banana Farms for a scraggly banana tree in Augustin’s original apartment, are alive with energy and rituals including matching orange aprons, pastry-certification classes, and clanging cowbells to celebrate good news. The young company creates everything “from scratch,” including social media campaigns with incredible engagement rates; packaging that changes with every print run to portray company developments; extremely consistent tone and image; and quite simply belief and trust in one another.
And next? In the U.S. the priority is to ratchet up east coast distribution, while the long-term goal is to become a global, premium, metropolitan, aspirational brand, which embodies French culinary know-how. Based on past success, this certainly seems within reach.
Meet them right HERE :