Posted on Oct 17th 2019
We’re pleased to welcome two of our newest Franchise Owners, Jenny and Donnie Paxton, to the Le Macaron French Pastry franchise! The Paxtons will be opening a café location in Nashville, TN, in the coming months, and have plans to open two additional Music City, U.S.A. locations in the near future. We were able to chat with Jenny and Donnie and get to know a little bit more about them recently and find out exactly what led them to look into French Pastry franchise opportunities like Le Macaron.
Jenny has spent nearly 15 years in the education industry and currently delivers education technologies in the disability department of a local college. For her, owning a franchise that will allow her to interact with people and provide a unique product with superior service makes Le Macaron a perfect fit. Jenny’s passion for service is derived from her time spent in a casual fine dining atmosphere. “The last time I was in the restaurant industry was 2007,” Jenny says. “It’s something I really enjoyed doing and I used to love mingling with the customers and I understand the importance of good customer service.”
Donnie, a military veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1990-1994, has an extensive professional background mostly in the finance industry and has spent the last 18 years at Merrill Lynch/Bank of America in a number of senior leadership roles across the firm. He is currently a Vice President and Performance Manager overseeing the Financial Advisor Development Program for 3 markets within the Merrill Lynch footprint.
With the help of career coach Tim Titus from The Entrepreneur’s Source, the Paxtons embarked on a quest to find just the right franchise opportunity that would allow them to continue working in their current positions while also allowing them to achieve the goal of business ownership. “We plan on keeping our jobs but overseeing the functions, logistics and strategies of the business," explains Donnie.
The bulk of the day-to-day operations will be handled by Jenny and Donnie's daughters Samia and Lindsey, two of their four grown children. “Samia will be starting on Day One, and will be managing daily on-site operations,” explains Jenny. “Lindsey, who currently lives in Minnesota, will be moving down to Nashville around the first of the year, which might actually coincide with the timing of the opening of our first location! Lindsey will be helping us with business development- doing the books, supporting the business, and drumming up opportunities. They’re both very unique functions.” The couple’s third daughter, Alyssa, is in college, pursuing a degree in physics, while their son Nick is currently serving in the National Guard. Long-term plans include all four kids joining the family business if they choose to do so.
While the 20 percent veteran franchise discount offered by Le Macaron was a welcome incentive for the Paxtons, it was by no means the deciding factor in their choice to invest in this franchise opportunity. “We’ve been looking at franchises for a couple of years, and most of them do offer discounts, but with Le Macaron, it was a good fit for a lot of reasons, not just the discount,” Donnie explains.
After extensive research of Le Macaron, including a thorough review of the website, visiting and sampling the product at various locations and getting to know the owners, the most compelling aspect for the Paxtons was the Le Macaron story. “For me, it was learning the heritage and the superior quality of their product” explains Donnie. “The more I learned about the business, the more it felt like a natural fit. I was intrigued to find out that they mastered the craft in France and built their business model on providing an authentic, quality product in the United States which is an untapped market with this product; providing an extremely lucrative business opportunity as a franchise owner.”
The Paxtons’ excitement about the Le Macaron opportunity grew, and the couple eagerly anticipated the chance to meet Founder Rosalie Guillem and the rest of the Le Macaron family. Jenny recalls, “We got connected with (Le Macaron franchise developer) Kera Vo, and she connected us with Rosalie, and we had our first Skype session. There was definitely an immediate connection on both sides.”
Based on that initial video conference, Jenny and Donnie were ready to go to their Discovery Day at Le Macaron headquarters in Sarasota, FL. “When we got down there and met them in person, it reaffirmed our feelings,” Jenny says of the experience. “Just sitting down and speaking with other Franchise Owners, the family, people working in the confectionary- that whole process.” The confectionary, in particular, had massive appeal for the Paxtons- you could say it was love at first sniff! “When we were walking into the confectionary, Donnie and I were talking to each other and making comments about just how good everything smelled!” laughs Jenny.
Though Jenny and Donnie have just begun their journey as Franchise Owners, they are already bowled over by the level of kindness and support that the Le Macaron corporate team has shown them. Jenny recalled a recent visit she received from Rosalie and co-Founder Bernard Guillem. “I really appreciated that Bernard and Rosalie came to town!” she exclaims. “They reaffirmed that they wanted to be in Nashville and expand here, and I really appreciated that they made it clear that they felt we were the right people to bring a Le Macaron here.”
As the Paxtons look toward the grand opening of their first Nashville location projected for early 2020, they look forward to the unique customer interactions and inviting atmosphere they plan to create in their café. “For me it is being able to provide such a unique product and making a difference in the marketplace with our service,” says Donnie. “It’s so hard to get good customer service, and we want to build our business on the foundation of providing exemplary service. I’m looking forward to treating customers the way I want to be treated!”
Le Macaron is continuing its expansion across multiple territories in the U.S., with 18 new franchise units awarded to 12 new Franchise Owners in 2019. We're seeking entrepreneurs like Jenny and Donnie, who wish to add a little laid-back, European culture to the landscape of their community. In addition to delicious, authentic French macarons, our franchise is designed to delight, educate, and inspire new fans across the country, and we love meeting people like the Paxtons, who are just the right fit for our dessert franchise. Click here to learn more about us, and to discover the potential for cookie franchise opportunities in your city.