For Frederic Lavorel, crepes are truly gold. He is the Co-Founder of Crepes de France, a business dedicated to the production of quality crepes and entrepreneurship. Among many other pursuits, he is also the founder of Crepes Village in Thailand, an exciting new restaurant complex offering fine dining and family entertainment....all centered around the enjoyment of the crepe.
It is our pleasure at World of Crepes to interview Mr. Lavorel and learn more about his important contributions to the crepe industry as well as the international business world.
WOC: Mr. Lavorel, where are you from?
FL: I was born and grew up in the charming town of Annecy, France, just a few miles away from the most popular ski resorts (Chamonix, Megeve, and Courchevel) and right next to Geneva, Switzerland.
WOC: When did you decide to build a career in crepe making?
FL: Annecy is also the place where I met my dear friend and partner, Mr. Andre Sala. Not only is Andre an amazing inventor and charismatic entrepreneur, he is also the original founder of Crepes de France and has dedicated much of his life to the crepes industry. I first met him in 1996, while I was working for the retail sporting goods industry. Since that time, my passion for crepes and my knowledge about the Food and Beverage (F&B) industry has increased, leading to an appetite for building a crepe business.
I have gained several valuable skills from Andre, as well as learned important lessons about life. We started to talk more and more about direct collaboration, and in 2002, we finally decided to join forces and work together to build the new Crepes De France. As a result, I recently decided to quit working for the sporting goods industry and make the final transition to full-time food and beverage entrepreneur.
With our headquarters located in Annecy and branches in Asia (Phuket-Thailand), Crepes de France consists of a diverse team of highly educated and experienced business internationals working across the globe. English, French, Thai, Arabic, Spanish are just a few of the languages we use on a daily basis. With Andre, we have led the company to extraordinary growth.... but there is still so much to do!
Crepes should be as famous as pizza and deserve the highest accolades of haute cuisine, so we are glad to be sharing our passion for crepes with people like you, and hope to see crepes returning to culinary fashion, as they are one of the oldest foods and have long been treasured for their tastiness.
WOC: We couldn't agree more! Several visitors to World of Crepes have their own dining businesses, from India to Australia. May individuals purchase crepe-making equipment from Crepes De France or do you only work with companies?
FL: Yes to both. We will try to provide best-fit solutions for every entrepreneur, we can trade with small and large business owners, and we export worldwide.
At Crepes de France, we provide our clients with custom solutions for making the batter and cooking the crepes, using cutting-edge, environmentally-friendly technologies and sound hygiene practices. We have developed and patented a unique concept and we take advantage of the growing demand for healthy, fast, and delectable food to promote and export our products worldwide. Crepes de France is regarded as a pioneer in the fast-good industry and can provide a beginning crepe entrepreneur with real plans, real profits, and real growth.
WOC: What advice would you offer to the beginning crepe entrepreneur?
FL: First you absolutely must have a passion for crepes and tons of enthusiasm! To become a "Crepolog" you must adopt the crepe attitude and study the four factors that influence our appreciation for good crepes: they must look good, smell good, taste good and must have a lovely texture.
And as with any entrepreneur, it is important to do your homework on market, competitors, profit margins, and even more. Crepes offer infinite possibilities so be creative and inventive, build your dream and develop your own brand. The concept of being unique or different is far more important today than it was ten years ago; companies which are innovative generally defeat those that are not. However, do not reinvent the wheel. You should purchase from third-party suppliers whatever you feel is needed to launch the perfect crepe business (i.e. griddle, batter, etc). Just make sure that you are putting forward a simple, highly flexible, and reasonably priced "business-in-a-box" solution.
Read Part II and Learn Mr. Lavorel's Response to our Favorite Question!
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