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If you want to move forward and move in a good direction, as they say, you have to get your hands dirty.

Starting up a neighbourhood shop

Maryline Roux
Co-founder of AU PAIN DE MARY since 2013


Financing the business

We put all our savings into it! Every last cent. One bank did accept us, but I mean they didn’t lend us…

So we really had to make it on our own.

Finding a location

For the location, it was opportunity. At first, we weren’t sure, we were more focused on downtown. Mrs. Bock was actually a client of mine when I was a hairdresser. The day he closed, since he knew we were looking for a place, he made us an offer. That’s how it went.

Finding suppliers

At the beginning, it was pretty haphazard, as they say!

Calculating margins

The accountant helps you along some, and beyond that… for me, since I’ve always worked in Luxembourg, bought in Luxembourg, consumed in Luxembourg, I did have an idea of the prices. Rent here is quite high. Insuring a building here gets very expensive very fast, especially with equipment and all. And staff costs 2 to 3 times what it costs in France. A baker or a pastry chef, won’t make the same salary in France that he does here. So you have to adapt your prices, your rates kind of based on that. Otherwise, if you have the same rates as in France, it won’t work.

Opening hours

We know that there are people who work, who leave the office at 6:00, 6:30 or 7:00pm. So I prefer people to have good bread rather than gas station bread.

Rolling up your sleeves

It doesn’t happen on its own. It doesn’t happen by the stroke of a magic wand. You have to work a lot. You mustn’t think that we’re here… well, I mean, whether it’s me or Manu, we’re not just here to say what to do! Manu is in production, he’s in delivery, he’s in the office. I do everything. I set up, I help in the back if I have to help in the back. You have to be versatile. If you want to move forward, and move in a good direction, as they say, you have to get your hands dirty!

One or more stores

The problem is when you want to do too much. We really care about quality. And quality, in the craft industry… if you’re not around all the time, if you spread yourself too thin, it’s hard to keep an eye on.

So if it’s to do lots but poorly, that’s not the idea. Our priority is the quality of our products.