No need for a lengthy introduction to the concept behind Baguette à Bicyclette, which delivers fresh bread and pastries by bicycle to businesses, hotels and direct customers, every morning, on demand. The cherry on the cake is their quality pledge, which means that everything, including the wheat, the baker, right down to their coffee cups, is selected to meet local sourcing and quality criteria. The co-founder, Caroline Faucon (Specialised Master 2016) explains how the idea took hold.
Why did you throw yourself into the Baguette à Bicyclette venture?
My last business project was in trouble; I was constantly asking myself if I should carry on (without believing it) or give up (a difficult concept for an entrepreneur!). I had run out of money and was looking for an idea to relaunch myself. I’d had this idea for several years, but had never made it a priority. However, when I analysed what the business needed in order to get started, I could immediately see how simple it was, and that was that; Baguette à bicyclette was born!
Why do you target businesses as well as direct clients?
Businesses (small, medium-sized and large) are increasingly concerned with their employees’ well-being and some want to provide weekly or fortnightly breakfasts to encourage the exchange of ideas and cohesion etc. Breakfast is a great way of communicating, and building relationships, and it is a treat.
This is the third company you have created. Admit it, you are a serial-entrepreneur at heart, aren’t you?
A serial-entrepreneur? I don’t know about that, but I am definitely curious! I like to learn and step outside my comfort zone. I knew I wanted to do be an entrepreneur very early on, even though nobody in my immediate circle had ever worked for themselves. I had always felt that there was a notion of freedom, risk and difficulty in entrepreneurship. All of that attracted me!
What is an emlyon business school early maker for you?
It is someone who dares, and who is both bold and humble. Nothing is easy in a maker’s life, but you have to believe in your project, in your team and your qualities. You also have to be part of the action, and confront the market with your idea. Sometimes a maker succeeds, sometimes they fail, but they will always learn a lot and there is true freedom in learning! And I am totally in tune with the school’s vision on that!
Baguette à Bicyclette in 2018, what do you see in the crystal ball?
Fundraising. That is really our objective right now. All investors are welcome to join our dynamic and ambitious project.
Who inspires you?
I admire people who have started from nothing. I have even more admiration for those who know how to keep their feet on the ground because I believe that simplicity is a fundamental value. Success is great of course, but that should not stop you from being humble. Octave Klaba best embodies those values in my eyes, you just cannot deny that he has the qualities of a genius.
What most recently made you really angry as an entrepreneur?
Oh, good question! I am often angry with myself! For example, a few weeks ago I overslept! So, I was 10 minutes late to a client meeting! I set myself high standards, so it completely ruined my day - I was furious with myself!
Your best memory at emlyon business school?
Our Boston trip. I did my first hackathon there - an incredible experience within the entrepreneurial microcosm, totally in tune with the needs and expectations of entrepreneurs. The trip taught me that in France, we really have a long way to go before we measure up. But over the last 2 years, I have seen a new dynamic in France. Station F is proof of that.
Baguette à Bicyclette has great presence on social networks, particularly Facebook. What do those means of communication represent for you?
Social networks are great for getting yourself out there. They allow you to talk to almost everyone and our followers are very responsive to our posts. It is the best medium for connecting with our direct customers, and is perfectly-adapted to current use. I have to admit that enticing people with images of delicious pastries makes the task much easier ;)