The smell of chocolate took no time to fade for Juliette Brun. Following the announcement in August of the bankruptcy of the company Juliette & Chocolat, which led to the closure of eight of its restaurants, the brand has been revived with the opening of a franchise in Montreal next week.
And a second establishment serving brownies and other sweet delights associated with the red logo may open its doors in 2024. While many SMEs are currently struggling to pay the government aid received at the time of the pandemic and juggling the idea of closing under the door, Juliette & Chocolat seems ready to return.
“Yes, we are born again. It’s true that it’s easy,” said Juliette Brun on the line.
A little more than three months ago, the founder of the company announced the end of his adventure and his chocolate brunches because he was suffocating under reimbursement. However, by the time it went bankrupt, the franchisees had already taken steps to open an establishment in the colors of Juliette & Chocolat, rue Sauvé, in Ahuntsic.
Aware that the brand may not be very attractive for future owners, MME Brun knew the project was in danger of being compromised.
“It’s really scary to start over with a bankrupt company,” he admits. I went to them and told them that their choice was 100%. I told them I knew the situation had changed. »
“All my branches are showing increased sales. In my case, it was a combination of circumstances. I took loans during the pandemic and these loans were too big for the income I got, he added. I tell them honestly: I won’t sell you a concept if I don’t think it will work. »
By their own admission, the four co-owners experienced a lot of anxiety and hesitation when the closing of eight restaurants was announced at the beginning of August. “He gave us a choice,” said Midean Mhmod. But I find the brand strong. Many people have told us they want Juliette & Chocolat back. »
He said that he himself fell under the spell of M counters.ME Brun was a year and a half ago when he left Syria for Canada and visited cafes to get inspiration to start a business.
So he and his business partners learned to work with Juliette Brun again and decided to move on. The business woman carefully checked all her suppliers to see if they would be willing to work with her again. “Most of the suppliers are very welcoming, very attentive. »
Juliette Brun also started her activities in her workshop where the made chocolate is intended to be sold online.
Towards a new business model?
The establishment on rue Sauvé may not be the only one to relaunch the brand. Another establishment may open in 2024 near the Jean-Talon market, confirmed MME Brown. The former members of his team expressed their desire to operate Juliette & Chocolat. Will opening franchises be the brand’s new business model? “Actually, this is the model that makes the most sense,” replied MME Brown without a doubt.
“I loved what I did when I had my own restaurants, but I always put out the fire,” he says. If something is missing, I (who took over). I’m in the branches all the time, seven days a week.”
The owner admits that he struggles to keep up with his projects because he is always on the floor. “Now I want the operators to manage the day-to-day. »
Since announcing its closure, Juliette Brun said she has received several calls from people who want to open an establishment under the Juliette & Chocolat brand. “The people who write to me are fans of Juliette & Chocolat. These are not just people who want to invest their money. »