Paris Baguette and Caffé Bene. Will they play in Peoria?

Ah, Paris Baguette.  The ubiquitous Korean bakery, with the strange name, serving Asian inspired and decidedly non-French pastries everywhere from the plush streets of Gangnam, to the shigol to even the doomed Sewol.  They, along with Caffé Bene and Tom N Toms,  are expanding into ‘Murica.  Their foray into the land of the free and the home of the brave is highlighted in this recent Fast Company article:

Three of South Korea’s biggest coffee shop chains, Paris BaguetteCaffe Bene, and Tom N Toms, have all embarked on American market expansion over the past several years….  Bene and Paris Baguette, especially, play down their Korean origins–and are planning to ramp up even more U.S. market expansion over the next two years. In a vivid example of 21st-century globalization, both chains are bringing South Korean-style customer service and corporate organization to the United States–except they are serving French- and Italian-style pastries and sandwiches instead of Korean food. 

Surprisingly, there are already 35 Paris Baguette locations and 99 Caffé Benes in the States.  Here are some boots on the ground reviews:

No word on if “A Twosome Place” (투썸플레이스) would be making the Transpacific plunge.  If they did, one would most certainly think they would have to consider a name change.

  • cactusmcharris

    Did ‘Twosome’ arrive out of someone’s misspelling of ‘toothsome’? And given the respective restaurants’ names, I’m glad that their menu doesn’t offer chain-style Korean food (which I’ve not had the dubious pleasure of having, yet).

  • bumfromkorea

    “If they did, one would most certainly think they would have to consider a name change.”

    … to “A Threesome Place”! Now that will sell.

  • bumfromkorea

    A possible word play on “To Some Place”?

  • wangkon936
  • wangkon936
  • bumfromkorea

    Damn it.

  • redwhitedude

    Looks like Korea is exporting their perception of France. Did they actually consult or check out France?

  • http://thekoreanforeigner.blogspot.kr/ John Lee

    There are many businesses that do this. Taco Bell and Chipotle Mexican Grill are American restaurants that sell faux Mexican food internationally and Curry House CoCo is a Japanese restaurant that sells faux Indian food internationally. Maybe they will succeed, maybe they won’t. But the way I see it, the more successful businesses the better.

  • wangkon936

    I dunno… did Pizza Hut consult Italy?

  • Joey

    Dude Suarez should be banned for life, that’s the third time he’s pulled that crap.

  • brier

    I find Korean bakery products a lot sweeter than the stuff state side. I wonder how the Korean sweet tooth will play out? Or are the companies reducing the amount the sugar they add for localization?

  • redwhitedude

    But the US has lots of Italian Americans and it is not as insular as South Korea.

  • redwhitedude

    He has become the most feared player in the world. He might picture you as a Pizza to munch on.

  • bumfromkorea

    No way. 식빵 might be sweeter than sliced bread, but the pastries out here is definitely sweeter than anything Korea’s got. Dessert/pastries is one thing I never Americanized because I just couldn’t handle the overwhelming sweet taste, and I was a kid when I got here!

    Just with pie a la mode and cinnabon, America wins.

  • kaizenmx

    You sure? Bakery breads from States are just packed with diabetes inside wheat/flour.

  • wangkon936

    Personally, I like Korean pastries better than American ones because nowadays American pastries have this saccharine sweetness too them. Perhaps too much use of corn syrup?

  • pawikirogii

    do they sell things like 송편 or 시루떡? that’s the kind of sweetness i like, way in the background. btw, sumo, sorry i didn’t answer sooner but the poached eggs were just made in a frying pan w lightly simmering water. i always allow the white part to seep out slowly until a base is formed. trick is to do things slow with water that isn’t moving around much.

  • wangkon936

    Somehow I doubt Pizza Hut had the direct consultation of may Italian Americans.

  • Aja Aja

    That’s a really strange comment. American deserts are way way more sweeter.

  • A Korean

    My guess, a twosome place, as in a place for couple – a dating spot for kids (and adults, too, I suppose).

  • lazyxoxo

    My friend (Chinese) opened up a TOUS les JOURS in New York.

  • redwhitedude

    And? Sometimes I wonder if Koreans from Korea are aware of the rest of the world because the way press reports things in Korea and its relative insularism.

  • Cham

    Paris Baguette just opened up here in the Bay (which isn’t as Korean heavy as LA or SoCal really). Business has been strong for months but that’s also, I suspect, because it’s right off the BART station (subway).

    The Korean origin is definitely played down but still noticeable for those who are aware of the brand.

  • RElgin

    It would be better for Americans to eat more real Korean recipes than bread. I buy my bread from a Korean that studied in France and a Frenchman in Iteawon that has a “Bread Shop”.

  • cactusmcharris

    Are they the same shop or are you eating too much bread and not enough Kukshik?

  • jfpower

    Why anyone would choose any of these chains in the West, I don’t know. It’s like expecting McDonald’s to do good bibimbap.

  • craneysa

    You are mistaken. Pizza is not from Italy. You should watch the “The True Origins of Pizza” on YouTube.

  • Aja Aja

    lol, probably everyone thinks it’s really “French”. lol..

  • brier

    What? Koreans might do Korean deserts well and hybrids well too, but authentic western baked goods suck. They make up for their lack of skills in this area by adding sugar, pies, tarts, breads, cakes all over sweetened.

  • toak

    Living two years in Korea my worst problem (and this tells you I had a pretty decent time) was buying decent baked goods. Paris Baguette is just horrible and in my desperation (because I need bread for breakfast) I think I tried out every item in their shop. Their sandwiches were ok but overpriced, and the garlic baguette with sugar the worst.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    I like A Twosome Place. You can get a not-terrible sandwich and a decent iced Americano every day during lunch for 6,000 won. That’s hard to find in Korea. And they are located everywhere.

    Paris Baguette will have to step up their game if they want to make it in the US. Off-the-shelf grocery store bread in the US is twice as good, twice the size, and half the price as the stuff PB sells in Korea. Their pastries are sad and uninspired and their bagels are sorry pieces of circle-shaped nonsense.

    Caffe Bene and Tom N Tom’s coffee is also craptastic. All Korean coffee chains taste the same and have the same lameass might-as-well-have-bought-this-at-Paris-Baguette menu. They all imitate Starbucks with a different color scheme and without half decent coffee beans.

    There IS great coffee and pretty good bread available in Korea, but not at any places that will ever get exported. Besides, America already has excellent bread and coffee. We don’t need more of it.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Cakes being too sweet here???

  • brier

    Yes. Rarely take more than a small sliver of a birthday cake. Maybe it is the frosting. Cakes don’t have be to enamored with sweetness only.

  • Cloudfive

    I think the coffee shops will do fine. They’re not any worse than Starbucks or other American chains. Paris Baguette succeeding in America seems a harder road because their cakes and bread are god-awful. But people in California still eat at Taco Bell when authentic burritos and tacos are available just around the corner so who knows?My favorite thing about a good taqueria is the salsa bar.

  • Sumo294

    ahhhh

  • Sumo294

    I really wish they would do bibimbap–they did Mexican and out came Chipotle.

  • felddog13

    Tell you what–Tom & Tom’s fresh, hot baked pretzels are pretty damn good. Coffee and pretzels. Who knew?

  • wangkon936

    Hummm…. I gotta try that. I’m always at a Tom N Toms as I’m waiting for my car to be washed.

  • ChuckRamone

    As if that’s unique to Korea.

  • wangkon936

    I think Paris Baguette’s products are sufficiently differentiated in the American market to be successful. Korean cake designs are a breath of fresh air compared to a lot of the American baked craptastic cakes that are over a third icing and have an uninspired “Happy Birthday Bob” stenciled on top.

    However, I think PB needs to change their name. A store named “Paris Baguette” that has no real French bakery products will probably be very confusing to the average American. However, it is a curiosity. The Cerritos, CA location is a pretty mainstream one and it’s always packed full of non-Asian American Americans.

  • wangkon936

    Here’s the main difference between Starbucks and Tom N Toms that I’ve noticed so far:

    1) Both coffees taste similar (at least to me). Tom N Toms serves more “munchies,” I guess you can say.

    2) At a Starbucks you are going to have a mid to late 20 something (or 30 something) proud owner of an English or Art bachelor’s degree behind the counter. They will try to do their job with a little bit of flair (with various degrees of success and/or failure). At a Tom N Tom’s you are more likely to have a HS or early 20’s kid try to serve you. They look more tired and stressed out. I’m guessing they are being paid less.

    3) I like the music better at a Tom N Toms. More “spirited” IMHO. More “Asian cute” videos being played on the flat screen at a Tom N Toms.

    Which do I choose? Depends were I an at and what’s more convenient. I don’t prefer one over the other.

  • wangkon936

    You guys are thinking Bibigo. It’s a creation of the CJ chaebol.

    http://us.bibigo.com/index

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Yeah, the name makes it sound like a baguette shop. Have you tasted the products in CA vs SK? I’m curious how they compare.

  • wangkon936

    I’ve never eaten at SK PB. Whenever I’m in Korea I wanna eat something that I can’t get back in the States… 😀

    Btw…. I can tell you that McDonald’s in Korea tastes better than in the States (couldn’t help that as aunt bought it for me thinking that it would remind me of home). I know that wasn’t the info you were looking for… 😉

  • redwhitedude

    That was not the point whether it is unique to Korea or not. It does hold Korea back.

  • redwhitedude

    More like americanized mexican food. Sort of like how a lot of chinese food is actually americanized chinese food.

  • Sumo294

    Hmmnnn I was considering ordering that–ty for the tip.

  • bumfromkorea

    I’m just saying. I still can’t eat most of the pastries and cakes here because it’s so overwhelmingly sweet (to the point where it’s actually a little bitter).

  • pawikirogii

    there’s literally hundreds of reviews for each pb in the states and they get high marks. no offense to mike but the last thing pb should do is listen to western naysayers. indeed, that’s how korea got where it is now…by not listening to western advice.

    ‘ships? you can’t build ships!’
    ‘cars? you can’t make cars that people would actually buy!’
    ‘ain’t nobody but nobody gonna listen to your pop music or watch your dramas!’
    ‘kpop will never have a hit in the west!’

  • pawikirogii

    :-)

  • redwhitedude

    Is there are reason america is referred as ‘Murica?

    Playing down Korean origins is a better approach than the bulgogi ad.

  • redwhitedude

    What’s with this fascination with France and French. Aside from being known for the arts and fashion,I just find this odd.

    BTW Korea could certain use some French in cheese and breads.

  • pawikirogii

    sometimes you hear things like that in westerns or people from the south. it’s very caucasian.

  • redwhitedude

    Well I guess it is like african americans using the n word.

    The way this advertising approach is a far cry from trying to sell Pocari Sweat in the US. It was like selling the Chevy Nova in Mexico.

  • redwhitedude

    Who started these chains?

  • jfpower

    I don’t rate Bibigo either. (Although, it is Korean, as you say.)

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    People who saw an opportunity

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    There is America and then there is ‘Murica. The latter refers to he stupid side of America: the creationists, red necks, etc

  • kaizenmx

    So, basically half of America?

  • wangkon936

    I think there is a difference between ships, steel and cars and restaurants meant to be marketed to Americans.

  • wangkon936

    51% or 49%. Depends on the election year.

  • Joey

    Morning
    I have a complaint with you guys am frm chinika area along de nampundwe
    road frm the time dis linez were connected hav never ejoyed your
    services every after two months water goes for a month, so far we don`t
    have for about three days is our line
    illegal? U are making our lyfz difficult there ar days were we hav both
    no electricity and water. Zesco and guys same no difference yo services
    very poor u are failing to supply water while to water level is stable
    wat more in october whn de water wh go down,am not happy wit guys
    twanaka ukunuka efiko. Tilanganenikoni pliz

  • wangkon936

    Joey, is this spam?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    More or less, yes

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Ships and steel, yes, but cars? Cars are consumer goods, like bakery items. Cars are probably more difficult to market than things you eat in 2 minutes and cost you a couple of bucks.

  • pawikirogii

    k cars r doing just fine, do your people make cars that people buy worldwide? answer: nope.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Which is what I said. Korea was able to go from selling Hyundai PONIES, laughed at by everyone, to being a top 5 car manufacturer. I would say Americans are much pickier about cars than pastries. No reason for PB to fail, and its name is not really that ridiculous.

  • pawikirogii

    sorry i got defensive, sms.

  • pawikirogii

    i hope your definition of america is expansive. pb has a chance tho not sure bout coffee bene. they aren’t getting good yelp reviews.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I would add that Korea was able to erase 2 huge negative connotations:

    1. The Pony, which basically dug a huge hole for Korean cars, and Hyundai particularly
    2. The idea that Asian cars in general were crap. Thats not so today: Nissan, Toyota, Honda; Lexus and Infinity on the upper end. But back then in the 80s, no one really liked Asian cars. People also actively hated anything Japanese, and who could tell the difference then between Japan and Korea?

    None of this is in play with PB. PB isn’t at all known to be a Korea brand, nothing indicates this is so. And even if it were known, there is no negative image to overcome for Korean-made pastries and bread.

  • pawikirogii

    exactly.

  • pawikirogii

    it’s part of the culture. people often see french things as high class and sophisticated.

  • pawikirogii

    for those in the sf/san jose corridor, if you want real deal chinese, you might try mama chen’s. i no likee!

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/mama-chef-santa-clara

  • redwhitedude

    Well who were they?

  • redwhitedude

    So things like starbucks and Au bon pain are stupid side of america? Those are competitors.

  • redwhitedude

    Still find that kind of fascination with France to be amusing.

  • pawikirogii

    feel the same way.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Google them. Why should I know?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Who feels the same way?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Who still finds this fascination amusing?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Yes, you did. Because you assume I hate Korea when I sometimes write mean things about it. Im just being honest from my own perspective. Criticism of Korea does not mean I hate it.

  • redwhitedude

    Interesting a cross between european open air caffe and Sarangbang.

    It certainly differentiates it from Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. Korea needs more entrepreneurs like Kim Sun-Kwon. A lot more.

  • redwhitedude

    Me. Some people associate France with romance as well. It’s like it is blurted out without even thinking about it.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Can you use proper personal pronouns, then? Like this:

    “I still find that kind of fascination with France to be amusing.”

    Thanks

  • redwhitedude

    Wangkon936 you forgot to include the link to caffe bene
    http://www.caffebeneusa.com/

    Here’s the wiki article about SPC Group which owns Paris Baguette.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPC_Group
    Here’s the website of Paris Baguette Cafe which is the name that it goes under in the US.
    http://www.parisbaguetteusa.com/

  • redwhitedude

    Okay. I still find that kind of fascination with France to be amusing. It’s not like they know much about France.

  • pawikirogii

    understood.

  • pawikirogii

    but that’s what makes the world so wonderful; everybody’s got their own spin. sometimes you like it sometimes you don’t. two examples: the vietnamese make excellent coffee drinks while the filipinos make spaghetti so sweet it taste like candy (try some at chow king!).

  • pawikirogii

    right and many people assume the french are pretty when my take is they don’t stand out compared to other white ethnicities. if you want pretty white people, you look at the eastern europeans. they are the prettiest on earth. yet czech and/or polish don’t resonate like the word french does in this society.

  • redwhitedude

    There is a fine line between having your own spin as opposed to ignorance when you are dealing with a country that has historically been somewhat insular.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    I’ve thought that McDonald’s in Korea is a bit better. I’m sure the ingredients are pretty much the same, but I think they just make less of it in advance here. I rarely ate fast food in the States because it was always messy and soggy. Korean McD’s actually looks like the pictures on the menu.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Are you from Zambia? I think you made a mistake, Joey. Joey is a little crazy judging from his posting history.

  • cactusmcharris

    I want to hear more about Zesco myself.

  • cactusmcharris

    Kamloops has its own German baker now – he’s fantastic.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Korea’s McDonalds restaurants benefit from the massive throughput of the kitchens. Especially during the lunch rush, one would be hard-pressed to get a bag of fries that’s more than 30 seconds removed from the fryer, and a burger that’s been in the wrapper more than a minute. That makes a big difference. I will say, however, that Korean staff, even at McDonalds, are generally insensitive to the possibility that food may have been sitting around too long and they are completely happy to serve you inedible stuff. I picked up a burger yesterday at 3:00 p.m. (there’s a McDonalds across the street from my office) and the fries had gone stone cold. When I gave them back, explaining that they were cold and inedible, the kid dumped them back into the warmer with the fresh fries.

  • BSDetector

    Say what you will about Caffe Bene and it’s evil no-substitution policy but when you’re vacationing in Gangneung and you don’t want to eat seafood for breakfast (which for me is always) it’s a godsend.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    This raises the question, if there isnt a SB’s or a T&T’s around, which is your next choice?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    CB has a crap food menu. Id rather eat nothing than sweets

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Zesco hates Joey. Maybe its the white guy working there keeping electricity from him. Or maybe Joey is crazy

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Yes, you’re right. Koreans don’t like to waste any food, regardless of how old it is. I can understand this mindset at home (to some extent), but they need to learn that customers are not going to pay for stale food.

    What I really hate is seeing an extra shot of espresso sitting on an espresso maker at a cafe, waiting to be used in the next drink. If I’m paying 4,000 won for a coffee, I’d at least like freshly pulled espresso.

  • Seoulgoodman

    “Paris Baguette” is bad French and I don’t know what the heck is “Caffé Bene”. Coffee is “café” (one f) in French and “caffè” (a grave accent on the e, not an acute one) in Italian.

  • Seoulgoodman

    It’s not really a dating place. It’s popular with housewives.

  • Seoulgoodman

    That’s nothing. Check the saturated fat content.

  • Seoulgoodman

    The other Korean bakery with an awkward French name. A Chaque Jour would be better, but still a weird name for a bakery…Speaking of which: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fx3W-bV4jp4&feature=kp.

  • Seoulgoodman

    …or those who can speak French.

  • redwhitedude

    Is there a stereotype going of french being bakers?

  • redwhitedude

    I’m sure french think that and be amused.

    Sort of like wondering why anybody would not clean their windows and leave up sings saying Sale.

  • Cloudfive

    It’s not a stereotype. The French are the best pâtissiers in the world.

  • wangkon936

    Somehow I think a guy like you could pony up for something a little more nutritious and expensive. It’s better for your health, no?

  • wangkon936

    Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Usually less crowded (and cleaner) than Starsucks.

    Incidentally, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is owned by Mirae Asset Private Equity, not that it’s the reason why I prefer it.

  • wangkon936

    I agree. What the heck is “Caffé Bene”?

    Keep the Konglish (or Kongench or whatever) in Korea. Please don’t import it.

  • DC Musicfreak

    chinikans are loose talkers…

  • redwhitedude

    Perhaps it is the fascination with French and France. Put something that remotely sounds french, without properly checking if it is correct.

  • Cloudfive

    Listening to Korean must be frustrating for you since pronouns are often omitted.

  • Cloudfive

    Caffé Bene means good coffee. It makes perfect sense since Italy has the best coffee in my opinion.

  • Cloudfive

    There’s nothing wrong with “Paris Baguette” and “Tous Les Jours”. The names make sense and sound nice to the ear, a hell of a lot better than “a chaque jour” or the atrocious names they come up with for 아파트.

  • Cloudfive

    How much do you know about France? Ask a Korean over 30 who Sophie Marceau is and they will probably know. Bet you don’t know who she is….I didn’t.

  • redwhitedude

    I’m just pointing out and critiquing this supposedly fascination with France and French. Having lived in Europe I find it odd. And yes those names do make sense in French. As to “a chaque jour” it may be that they picked something random in French without making sure that it makes sense. That is making sense in French.

  • wangkon936

    Okay. Had to Google Translate that. “Caffé Bene” is Italian for Good Coffee. I get it now. I take back the “Kongench” comment.

  • redwhitedude

    How about Isabelle Adjani or Gerard Depardieu? And yes I know who she is. She doesn’t get much coverage in the US.

  • redwhitedude

    Do you have to start with race thing?

  • redwhitedude

    Well they got the spelling right and makes sense. It is one misspelling from leaving spanish speakers red faced with embarrassment.

  • pawikirogii

    race thing? i was talking about a cultural phenomena. stop being so sensitive.

  • Cloudfive

    Yes, several times.

  • j95lee

    If you like palmiers, you might like Paris Baguette. Something like half of their pastries have similar texture. Hard and crunchy.

    The rest are mostly high end versions of Korean pastry, like the sausage bread, makesfhit pizza (undercooked bell peppers, sausage, and ketchup), chestnut puffs, and bread with red bean filling. I actually see a fair amount of non Koreans in these places. The food is all right, and the mall crowd probably don’t know a thing about European cuisines. They’ll go to “Japanese” restaurants that serve orange chicken.

    I live in Cerritos, and there’s PB, 85C bakery, and a bunch of Asian yogurt places. Forever 21 and Kyochun Chicken settled into Cerritos mall a few years ago. I don’t think I can live in the east coast.

  • redwhitedude

    Well France is a heavy weight in the fashion world.

  • redwhitedude

    The only reason I know her is of some magazines featuring her. Depardieu has been cranking out movies since at least the 70s.

  • j95lee

    So PS is expanding in red neck side of America? LOL.

    I’ve taught at schools and worked as a tutor at university. Trust me, if you want to see “stupid” people in America, you don’t have to go to as far as Alabama. Your closest Starbucks might be good location. Unemployable tweens milking wifi over a single cup of coffee.

    Cerritos and LA are Asian stronghold (gasp). Come to think of it, lots of Asians are creationists, stupid, or progressives. Or all at the same time.

  • Cloudfive

    If it makes you feel superior, just refer to it as “Baguette Paris”, mumble it under your breath every time you pass a Paris Baguette.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Racist.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    We are speaking English here. Different rules, different ways of speaking. And no, in my own language they are also omitted more often than not, and the information is relayed in the verb. But this isnt so in English. Get with the program

  • http://thekoreanforeigner.blogspot.kr/ John Lee
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  • Tapp

    I’m pretty sure every reference to ‘Murica started with Southpark. They use to use it every time that they would show a particularly conservative or southern perspective. Parker and Stone used it again with Team America, but it all started with Southpark

  • Tapp

    Tom N Toms might compete with Starbucks in Korea, but I can’t see it impacting sales in the US. I personally think they would do better to differentiate a bit instead of attempting to directly compete. Starbucks is the Tim Horton’s of the US and most people already have strong feelings for or against the brand. TnT isn’t a big enough splash to change those feelings, in my opinion.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Baguette is a feminine noun, so it should be “Baguette Parisienne” (which really doesn’t make much sense anyway since Paris, to the best of my knowledge, isn’t known for its bread. In fact, the Bretagne region is the biggest consumer of bread in France).

  • Seoulgoodman

    Oh, and Paris Baguette sounds to me like the name of a trashy tabloid, whose name is franglais (think the French version of konglish).

    http://www.parismatch.com/

  • eujin

    Häagen-Dazs is allegedly named to make it sound Danish as a nod of respect for Denmark rescuing their Jews in WWII.

    But it doesn’t sound remotely Danish. There isn’t even the letter ä in Danish, that would be Swedish and err, German. Wayda pay respectz!

  • redwhitedude

    Maybe they should have consulted with native french speakers before settling on a name.

  • Cloudfive

    No it should not be “Baguette Parisienne”. It refers to the city of Paris. It’s “New York Cheesecake” not “New Yorker Cheesecake”. (under my breath)You idiot.

  • Sumo294

    I honestly think the Austrians make the best coffee but its close.

  • Sumo294

    When French idiomatic rules clash–I believe how the person from Paris says it is the correct form. Cloudfive wins!!

  • Cloudfive

    You get with the program SAS!!! j/k

  • BSDetector

    A yummy breakfast is the key to a great day. You meanie. :(

  • pawikirogii

    speaking of coffee, here’s an article about starbucks in korea from nbc.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/starbucks-seoul-how-seattle-chain-flooded-south-korea-n141856

  • Seoulgoodman

    Not really. The standard operating procedure here is to come up with names which sound foreign but are still distinctly and nonsensically Korean. According to research, these names provides the brand a certain cachet without being threatening to consumers who are sensitive to cultural imperialism (which is a bit of a joke since South Korea is often used as the prime example of a post American imperialism society).

  • Seoulgoodman

    You’re the idiot. Why would they use English grammar if they want to express that it’s somehow French inspired? Stop thinking like an arrogant anglophone. English isn’t an official language here.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Why so many? These are legal ways for Korean Chaebul families to send money abroad. Sort of like money laundering. These “failed investments” show up as multi-million dollar housings in california beaches. No investments like real estate investment. And, Korea may have a war soon as the US pulls out. Won will plummet. Chaebul had to diversify their money. What better place than the Good’ol USA.

  • redwhitedude

    In other words if it sounds french to Korean ears then they stick to it. As a multilingual I find that approach to be a joke.

  • Seoulgoodman

    If it sounds like bad French (or English), yeah. That’s also why we see nonsensical/cryptic slogans like “Bravo Your Life”.

  • bumfromkorea

    There’s actually an Asian bakery not to far from my place (AZ) where they sell red bean pastries and other similar stuff (there’s also a Korean market that gets its baked goods from LA, but this place is obviously more fresh). If I want something from there, I gotta go there before 11 AM because the people from GoDaddy office next to the bakery completely wipes the place out during their lunch time.

    There’s definitely a room for Asian pastries in America.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Time is money. Eating lunch at 3:00 p.m. happens sometimes on the busy days.

  • RElgin

    Their name makes no sense in English or French; it is just a bastardization of things French, like a restaurant entitled “Le Steak House”. You could not open a Paris Baguette in France because either people would laugh at it or the Académie française would close it down.

  • Arghaeri

    RFLMAO, god you’re funny!

  • Sumo294

    Including cheese . . . the Frenchies make it the bestest. But not Quebecois cheese . . . nasty imitation cheese.

  • Sumo294

    Ty for the review–I am not a coffee guy so I just follow the crowd. You saved me some money.

  • Sumo294

    That McDonalds in your area is hard to get to. Sbarros used to be there I believe. There used to a nice sandwich place across the street if I remember correctly.

  • Sumo294

    Académie française–I forgot about those gerbils–haha–ty for reminding me about them.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    My office is at COEX, directly across the street from the Hyundai Dept. Store. The McDonalds is super convenient for us.

  • Seoulgoodman

    That’s not what l’Académie Française does, but you’re right that it’s bastardized French.

  • Sumo294

    Ahhh yah that part of the world. Daechi/Coex is a different world.

  • RElgin

    You should try a real coffee shop that roasts its own bean and does not play loud pop anything that gets in the way of a conversation.

    None of these franchises can touch that.

  • silver surfer

    I’d like to be in your world, where Sophie Marceau is ‘average’!

    I can see the reason she is so much to Koreans’ taste, though: because she looks almost Korean, or the way Korean women would ideally like to look.

  • silver surfer

    ‘Paris Baguette’ is Korean translated verbatim into English (or perhaps French. Who can tell?), and the result is ugly as it almost always is.

  • Seoulgoodman

    I didn’t invent the bit about how they use koreanized terms so the company seems international, but yet Korean. It has been studied.

  • silver surfer

    Yes, I have often heard that before. If that’s what the market wants, then that’s what it wants. It won’t go down well in America, though.

  • gordsellar

    Doubtless it’s a pun on “lonesome” and “toothsome” (and “awesome”). It may be frequented by ajummas now, but lots of locations opened near universities early on, and it seemed like they were targeting students…

  • gordsellar

    There are several locations of Paris Baguette down here in Saigon. You’d think that, given how the bread in the average Vietnamese bakery is better than the bread in the average Korean one (and how the pastries are many times better in general) that Paris Baguette would fail here… but there are a lot of Koreans here and they’re so used to the Paris Baguette stuff that they seem to find anything else (including what most Westerners and Vietnamese find superior, “proper” bread) to be quite unpalatable.

    (I suppose, like many North Americans and Americanized Chinese food.)

    (Not that their customer base is solely Korean expatriates: there are Paris Baguettes outside the Korean district… mostly downtown, but still. Obviously some locals must buy their bread there too… though I suspect it’s probably a mix of a few young people enamored with all things Korean, and a lot of unsuspecting tourists who probably assume it’s another Vietnamese coffee/bakery chain.)