The century-old French bakery chain Paul opened its Taiwan flagship store at a spot on Renai Circle in Taipei on Saturday, despite the bad weather brought by Typhoon Sinlaku.
“Despite the typhoon last weekend, our flamand were completely sold out before 10am,” Daphne Lai (賴郁芬), chairperson of Bon Paul Co (邦保羅), who is in charge of the store’s operations, said by telephone yesterday.
One of the bakery’s exclusive items — and its most expensive at NT$600 each — are the double cheese flamand, which weigh 400g and are only made on Saturday and Sunday, six per day.
Company officials say 95 percent of their ingredients are imported directly from France.
Only fresh vegetables are provided by Taiwanese suppliers, they said.
Paul will offer up to 104 types of bread, with prices ranging between NT$48 and NT$600. The breads are pre-baked in France and frozen immediately for shipment to Taiwan, where they are defrosted and baked at the store.
The Renai store combines a restaurant, bakery and tea room, and nearly NT$30 million (US$939,000) was spent on the decor.
The company expects the store’s annual sales to reach NT$100 million, as it is rather upbeat about the strong spending power in the area.
In the next five years, the company plans to open up to 20 outlets at department stores and shopping malls.
Founded in 1889, Paul now owns 350 stores in France, with a total of 500 stores in 25 countries.
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