An ironic outcome … French bakeries Maison Kayser will be transformed into Le Pain Quotidien, its main competitor in New York. Last week, the Aurify Brands group announced that it had completed the takeover of Maison Kayser USA and its 16 bakeries, mainly in New York, which had fallen under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last September. He plans to convert at least 10 under the Le Pain Quotidien brand. ” We believe a lot in New York City and are delighted to add these strong addresses in this key market to our Le Pain Quotidien portfolio. Said Aurify Brands co-CEO John Rigos.
Maison Kayser USA, like many restaurant owners in New York, suffered a lot from the closure of businesses during the pandemic, and chose not to reopen its terraces last summer. The group, founded in 1996 by Eric Kayser, then sought to make the rounds and to tighten its costs, in particular by negotiating reductions in rents, and even anticipated end of leases, with its lessors. As French Morning had reported, it still hoped to reopen its points of sale in September, but the coronavirus crisis will have been stronger. “The obstacles, including the indefinite timetable for the total reopening of the dining room in New York, proved too important to be overcome”, then declared the general manager of Maison Kayser USA, Jose Alcalay. On September 10, he filed for bankruptcy, signaling the start of a sales process.
Aurify Brands, which operates burger restaurants Five Guys and Melt Shop, but also vegetarian restaurants The Little Beet, and chicken, Fields Good Chicken, is none other than the new owner of Pain Quotidien. The Belgian group, which owned 98 restaurants, did not resist the pandemic for long: it declared bankruptcy on May 28, and was bought by the American group at the end of June. By combining these addresses and those of Maison Kayser, Aurify Brands has indicated that it will open or reopen 60 outlets in New York, but also in California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Virginia and Washington. DC. He also said that as soon as the restrictions related to Covid-19 are lifted, these restaurants could create at least 1,200 jobs.
So this is the end of the day for Maison Kayser USA, which was created in 2012 in New York and quickly opened around twenty stores, mainly in Manhattan, before having to close a few. Created by two French entrepreneurs, the American company, which held the Kayser franchise for the United States, was financed in particular by the investment fund of Charles Heilbronn, of the family shareholder of Chanel. Kayser bakeries have become essential addresses for French expatriates, but also New Yorkers and tourists, who came for a crispy baguette, a flaky croissant, or even mellow financiers.