For 14 years, Annie Song has been selling graphic tees and edgy jeans.
Now she hopes you’ll try her croissants and quiches.
The owner of Explicit Streetwear, which has operated in The Town Center At Aurora since 2009, is preparing to expand the Paris Baguette bakery chain’s presence in the Denver area.
Song, 40, has signed a deal allowing her to open four Paris Baguette locations in the region, the first of which she plans to open at 10601 E. Garden Drive in Aurora in July.
After Song’s store had to temporarily shut down during the pandemic, she said she realized she needed to expand her business portfolio. So, last February, she applied to become a Paris Baguette franchisee.
“Food was an essential business during COVID, so it kind of just opened up my eyes,” Song said.
The bakery and cafe sells pastries, cakes and breads, as well as salads and sandwiches. It has roughly 150 locations in the United States, including one in Park that opened under separate ownership in March.
Song, whose favorite item is the Pain au Chocolat, said she fell in love with the brand on trips to New York and Los Angeles.
“I would frequent their pastry shops and it just brought great joy,” Song said.
The cafe will open in The Gardens on Havana shopping center, which is anchored by Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Sprouts Farmers Market. The 2,500-square-foot space was formerly home to Uncle Maddio’s Pizza.
The company says it typically opens franchise locations in spaces that are roughly 3,250 square feet in heavily trafficked shopping plazas. It aims for a modern interior, inspired by French and European styles. Generally, franchising requires an investment between $635,765 and $1.6 million.
Song leased space for the second location in Colorado Springs at 184 Democracy Point, which she said will open next year. She said she hasn’t found spaces for her other two locations yet.
“We’re looking for the right community to bring Paris Baguette to the neighborhood – an essential area where friends and family can meet, a friendly environment, a welcoming neighborhood,” Song said.