Photo from New York Social Diary
Woah! Who knew that PAUL bakery was having so many problems? I’ll admit I usually passed them up for much cheaper taiwanese pastries at Croissants de France or 85C, but I thought it’s expat following for overpriced baked goods was strong enough to weather it through any storm. Apparently not.
Smart Shanghai has the scoop:
It boils down to a business dispute between Harold and Laurence Levillair, whose Levillair Group franchised the brand, and parent company the Holder Group. In an interview last month, Harold and Laurence Levillair outlined a list of grievances with the Holder Group, characterizing the original franchise agreement as untenable…
The Levillairs have been trying to raise money by selling part of the company back to Holder HQ in France for more than a year. Said Mr. Levillair, “Or they want to make an effort or I will show them that I don’t care. It’s clear enough. I’m a businessman. I have an investment company. I put my balls on the table. I’m tired of it. Ok. So — or they come with me, they take over, they help me, or they want to play like this, and maybe I will take off the brand and I will put another one. And I will put the money on the table because it will be my own brand. But if it’s for PAUL, I’m tired of it.”
Which means that patrons at Shanghai Center, around Dongping Lu and near Xintiandi are going to have to look elsewhere for expensive baguette sandwiches. Though, considering the insanity surrounding PAUL’s operations over the last few weeks – their old customers probably already have. Tis a tough business, the food industry.