From trade school to the cookie industry, they chose the unexpected

Posted January 24, 2022, at 07.00

Chocolate chips, nuts and caramel are very far from Alexis de Galembert’s career plan as he leaves Neoma to specialize in fusion and acquisition consulting. “I was in a suit and tie”, he sums up with a smile. Already now he dreams of entrepreneurship.

Alexis and his colleagues often go to the salad bar next to the office and he is tired of the classic cookies offered for dessert. “I remember making a joke with my colleagues: imagine a cupboard full of cookies, with many different flavors. From the joke, the idea was born, then a business plan, then a market research »he remembers.

Then a termination, and a company in due form, La Fabrique Cookies. Today we are ten years and fifteen stores later. In addition to BtoC, Alexis also sells its cookies in restaurant chains such as Sushi Shop, Big Fernand or Pokawa.

However, the cookie market is a priori not obvious, monopolized by the big cookie brands. According to IRI figures, it weighed 184 million euros in 2019, but this large cake contains precisely the industrial cakes sold in supermarkets. Next to it are small brands of more advanced cookies in full development.

“The market works well, but you have to know that it is difficult to make money and be efficient on a single product, especially with high rents like in Paris. The location is all the more important as the cookie is mainly a snack, afternoon product … “adds Alexis, who has a nice turnover of 5 million euros in 2021. He is aiming for 7 million in 2022.

The best ingredients

Laura Petit, for her part, chose the cookie industry pragmatically. After studying audiovisual language, then Essec, she was looking for a sweet monopod that was easy to make so she could focus on ingredients and … without strong morning odors. The cookie is all found.

His brand, Scoop Me A Cookie, was born in 2010: “I started by making the recipe, which took me two years. And I had the chance to meet another entrepreneur specializing in yogurt ice cream. She was looking for a product for the winter so I could sell my cookies from day one. »

Laura opens her shop, then another, a third and a fourth, all in Paris. Today, she sells one million cookies a year and employs 42 people without having opened her capital until now. “My goal is to make the best possible cookies with the best ingredients. I think that was what made the difference in this mono-product market where many brands have tried to get started without going through with their approach.she notes.

Scoop Me A Cookie highlights its organic eggs and flour, its Charentais BOB butter and its Valrhona chocolate. Long-term goal: a dozen stores for a hundred employees and above all three million cookies a year.

The cookie delights, soothes and is available

The mono-product brand, Claire Moire, saw this choice as a double or nothing. Educated from Ieseg, she began her career in management control. After a burnout, she chose her passion, with a CAP in cooking and then a CAP in pastry. She then created her own brand, Les biscuits de Claire et Julie, which very quickly specialized in cookies: “The original idea was a sweet and spicy pie, but the cookie appeals and soothes, it can come in countless flavors, be more or less fine, soft, crispy … At first I thought I would offer a wider, but it works fine that way in the end. “ Claire sells her cookies in stores and online, but also for coffee shops and other delicacies.

In any case, each of our founders sees the benefit of their original course at a business school. “Of course it helps me in all aspects of managing the company, organizing production, expanding the team”, agrees Claire Moire. To evolve, all this knowledge is valuable.

“I love my product, but it’s not enough. You need legal, accounting, tax bases, talk to the banker, get loans with good interest rates, subsidies … Today with about sixty employees, the factory is a small SME “adds Alexis de Galembert.

First customers: former colleagues

Anne-Laure de Lummen, a graduate of ESCP in the 1990s, has become a seasoned consultant. In 2011, she wanted to create her own box. She refines her cookie recipes, getting her colleagues to taste them. Some even start buying it from him.

The potential is there, Anne-Laure creates Ann’s Cookies. His first clients will be his former colleagues. “Quickly, my clientele consisted of companies, consulting firms, lawyers, banks, who asked me for cookies for their client meetings. My former company ordered me weekly trays for team coffee on Fridays “she explains and also places her delicacies at La Grande Epicerie de Paris.

Covid has slowed down this BtoB market. To return, Anne-Laure is betting on taking over the chocolate brand Lombard, which has been extinct since the 1950s. One thing is for sure anyway: delicacies, and in particular her dear cookies, never leave her.

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