LES MOULINS LA FAYETTE – LINDA CASSIEN
Here at Chic Sophistic HQ – we decided to start a new series that highlights some pretty impressive individuals that we have met along the way! Everyone of us has our struggles – trials and tribulations – challenges – obstacles that we face – but what makes certain individuals stand out to us … is how they ‘choose’ to handle the challenges that come their way and what they do … to overcome them!
I had the pleasure of meeting and sitting down with Linda Cassien – born and raised in Madagascar – brought up in an environment that was heavily influenced by the French culture – not only was French her native language – but waking up in the morning and having her espresso … and croissant was part of the normal way of life – very much in line with what the rest of the world perceives as the typical ‘french’ way of being. Even today – there are a lot of french people that immigrate to Madagascar and that end up finding partners who live there … and they just really end up enjoying that lifestyle – and ultimately choose to stay there.
PASSION FOR PASTRIES
Very early on – Linda realized that she had a true passion for baking and for pastries in general. She knew this was the direction that she wanted to go in – she definitely knew that this was something she wanted to do in her life … and was prepared to do all of the learning and shadowing that was required – in order to achieve her goal … and really turn her dreams … into a reality.
She had the opportunity to work with one of the top pastry chefs in the world and spent a few months really getting a true understanding for the art of pastry-making and all that was involved … giving her a new sense of confidence overall – as she was now very familiar with how to navigate that industry … and really had a good grasp of what was required to be recognized in this space.
MOVING FROM MADAGASCAR – HELLO CANADA!
At some point in her life – she realized that she wanted to move with her children and husband to Toronto – where they would settle in and open up a business together. The idea was that she would have the opportunity to start something that was really just her own – recipes all designed by her – products all tied to her name – but once her and husband attended a small business trade-show that was showcased some of the opportunities that were available to potential buyers interested in starting something new and exciting in their lives – they ended up exploring these options further and decided to change direction slightly.
FRANCHISING VS. LICENSING
Once they heard more about Les Moulins La Fayatte – they realized that the business was something that very well-aligned on the French pastry front and really just made sense overall. The other plus was that they could approach this from a Licensing angle – which offers up much more flexibility and leaves some room for creative influence on the part of the owner – so really – this was the best of both worlds.
With this type of a set-up – they were free to get creative with savoury items – and there is also flexibility with some of the other items offered – just might be a bit more process involved in getting certain changes or adaptations approved – but overall this concept really appealed to them.
THREE ‘SWEET’ PIECES OF ADVICE – THE FOOD BIZ
Just near the end of this interview – I thought I would ask three critical questions – question that I know everyone is interested in!
Q: What are three pieces of advice that you could offer up to anyone trying to start their own business – based off of what you have learned along the way in starting your own business?
Build yourself a great support team – so that you feel like you can rely on others at times as well – as it really can be quite challenging to take all of this on – all on your own. Linda refers to her husband at this time and says how helpful it has been to have him there – experiencing this and really going thorough this journey with her. She really continues to talk about how lucky she is to have that type of support system – not only because there are extra hands on deck – but because even on the personal level when it comes to their relationship – there is a deep understanding of what each of them has to do everyday – to keep this business going. When they both get home – they’re both exhausted and both understand what the commitment to the business looks like.
Be Prepared for Surprises … but also remember that Nothing is Impossible – if you know you want something – you will definitely achieve it. Don’t give up – Just keep at it.
Open To Learning:
Always be open to continuous learning!