Why do we always encourage you to do what you love instead of what you are told is right? Because even though the alternative to what is expected of us is usually tough and unforgiving, the possibilities are endless. This is the story of French entrepreneurs Augustin Paluel-Marmont and Michel de Rovira.
It started in 2003, when childhood friends Augustin and Michel were working on their book, “Le Guide des Boulangeries de Paris” – a comprehensive guide to Parisian bakeries. With all the knowledge they had gained, they put their stable careers behind to start Michel et Augustin, a high-end cookie brand in a French food industry dominated by Giants such as Lefèvre Utile (LU).
Like almost all startups, their journey was met with hardship and failures. In the beginning, they spent one day each week baking cookies all day in a rented bakery, and the other six days selling the cookies around France. Soon, they realized investing into a more efficient way of doing things was necessary, so they bought a 5,000 Euro mound. When the mound was put to the test, only broken cookies came out. Michel recalled, “It was heartbreaking to make batch after batch of broken cookies.”
Nonetheless, the two friends persisted, knowing they had created a winning product with their Sablés (French round shortbread cookie). The problem was they did not have the budget to run a large-scale advertising campaign. Luckily, these two were quite witty. According to Augustin, “Michel et Augustin’s core value is friendship,” a trait that seeped into their personality-driven marketing campaign.
At the start, Michel et Augustin would distribute the cookies in barber shops and cafes instead of large supermarkets. They also are guilty of holding a press conference dressed up as cows. All these silly incidents are filmed and put on their blog / Youtube channel so customers can experience their story instead of just their product. Through humor and cheerful cartoons on their packaging, Michel and Augustin were able to not only give their customers delicious baked goods, but also spread their good mood. Now, they are introducing their product to global markets, including the United States.
In truth, these guys are role models for us, and one day we hope we can say we created something that made lots of people happy. That being said, if you have feedback or have famous friends who would be willing to spread the word, please do not hesitate to email us! (Joking!...but not really...) If you want to try Michel et Augustin products, along with other French snacks, check out the France box below:
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