Put it all on one product: a new business that pays off

You can see, there is not a single bottle in our shop.” It is true that the wine cellar of Frantz Roesch with its lilac-colored cubes of 3 liters distinguishes itself from traditional stores. everything except piquette. “Only top class – but 20% cheaper thanks to the packaging in BIB (“Bag-in-Box”)”, says this serial entrepreneur.

In the wake of confectioner Pierre Hermé and his macaroons, he is not alone in betting on the single product. “Inexpensive, this strategy makes it possible to quickly enter a market and be easily recognizable,” analyzes Yves Marin, consultant at Kurt Salmon. Result for BiBoViNo: 25 franchise stores already. Here are some other ways.

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Rice Trotters, Goût de brioche, la Maison de la Chantilly, We Are Tiramisu, Sard’in, Aux wondrous de Fred or even Eggli… The concepts of monomaniac restaurants and pastries multiply, every brand that goes there with its fetish product dropped in all sauces. If the hamburger niche has been widely exploited, there are still many sweet or savory concepts to come up with or import.

Michael Cohen (30) and Rachid Ez-Zaïdi (28) bet on the bagel, this small round bread that Americans love. In February 2011, the two recently graduated friends from Novancia collected their savings (32,000 euros) and opened their first corner in the capital. Today they have five locations and fifteen franchised restaurants. “We created our first recipes by drawing inspiration from the menus of foreign bagel chains and testing them with our family members,” recalls Michael Cohen, who spent the first few months preparing the bagels himself while manning the restaurant’s checkout.

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Christophe Adam (left) and Charles Lahmi in their boutique L’Éclair de Genius on rue Notre Dame des Victoires. All rights reserved

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After the macaroons, here’s the all-eclair. Christophe Adam, a pastry chef who worked for Fauchon, offers it in 180 recipes, from grand cru chocolate to salted butter caramel and vanilla pecan. Conclusion: After opening six boutiques in Paris, his company, L’Eclair de Génie, has established itself in London, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, as a franchise, brand license or joint venture. This success, which he also owes to the marketing talent of his partner Charles Lahmi, boss of the Lulu-Castagnette label, shows the strength of the concept: optimized production (one workshop supplies Paris), modular sales format (corner), miniseries . And mono doesn’t mean manic: the duo have also created an assortment of sweet groceries (caramel tube, spread) that are wildly popular.

Goodwill and working for the first store

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>> On video: New cultural, tourist and architectural emblem of Bordeaux, discover the Cité du Vin.


Rare sector unaffected by the agricultural crisis, the wine sector remains a wealth of opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs. The market is significant: France alone consumes 12% of the wine produced in the world and welcomes more than 10 million wine tourists every year.

It is on this latter niche that Mickael Loreau (28) launched in April 2014 with Vinizos, a website that offers tastings in wine estates. The company, which is 100% self-financed, initially refers to more than 250 domains against about fifteen domains. “To develop the site at a lower cost, I called on an independent service provider,” says this Essec graduate.

The three Nantes engineers behind 10-Vins are also shaking up the market. A sort of Nespresso refillable wine with 10cl bottles served at the right temperature, their D-Vine machine took six years to develop. “To start with, we put 35,000 euros on the table and quit our job,” explains Thibaut Jarrousse, one of the co-founders. Rewarded at the latest CES show in Las Vegas, the start-up is popular with the venture capital fund with which it has already raised €2.3 million.

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When setting up their company, Ludovic Chevalier and Christian Jourdier started from an observation: there is no retail chain that focuses on tall and strong men. “The rare specialty stores only offered old-fashioned clothes,” underlines Ludovic Chevalier from the top of his 2.05m. On the shelves of Size Factory: trendy brands, from 2XL to 10XL. From 2011, their first store (investment of 400,000 euros) was a bull’s eye. Five years later they have twelve for a turnover of 10 million euros.

Chatelles has also found the answer to renowned fashion brands: focusing on a single product, available in a multitude of materials and colours. Other Parisian boutiques focus on the high-end, such as Mes Chaussettes rouges, highly prized by François Fillon, or Gustave et Cie and its bow ties. But the province has yet to be conquered.

One basic model, but a wide range of slippers

Starting bet: 30,000 euros

François du Chastel, founder of Chatelles. All rights reserved


Two years ago, this former Merrill Lynch analyst retired from finance to launch his brand of slippers (derived from the ballerina), Chatelles. With 30,000 euros in his pocket, François du Chastel first hired a designer and a podiatrist to develop a mold before starting production of 600 pairs at a factory in Portugal. Good point: in 2015, turnover reached 750,000 euros.


Seeing a crowd of travelers at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport who were willing to pay about ten euros to wrap their luggage in plastic wrap before check-in, William Tala, then a stopover agent, had the idea to creating BibeliB, a design suitcase cover equipped with a traceability system. To finance the development of his discovery, this self-taught artist turned to crowdfunding. A plebiscite: he raised 543,000 euros. To stand out from the crowd, offering a single product in new sizes, colors or designs can be another good idea. For example, The Kase personalizes phone cases, Tediber only sells one mattress model, Verycook’s planchas are available in pop colours, while Cie Bracelet Montre relies on original materials such as lizard leather. All these start-ups were profitable in their first year.


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From 518 to 783 euros
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