Image courtesy of Bouchon Bakery
The retail bakery business continues to expand internationally, and business savvy owners are always on the lookout for unique opportunities to build their brands outside the United States.
Acclaimed chef and baker Thomas Keller is partnering with international retail franchise operator M.H. Alshaya Co. to launch the first three Bouchon Bakeries outside of the United States.
The Middle Eastern countries will be home to the exciting new venture from Keller, who opened the first Bouchon Bakery in 2003 in California. The bakery has grown past its Napa Valley roots and throughout the United States. 
“As we expand outside the United States, we are pleased to partner with Alshaya, which has a track record of successfully franchising international brands. Together we will make Bouchon Bakery an outstanding destination for our Middle East guests and visitors alike. I’m eagerly looking forward to our official debut,” Keller says.
Bouchon Bakery offers a genuine style of classic French boulangeries and a wide selection of artisanal breads and classic desserts inspired by Chef Keller’s childhood memories and of his time in France. It also features an array of sweet delights including classic viennoiserie, such as croissants and pain au chocolat, breakfast items like muffins and streusel cakes as well as an ever-changing selection of tarts, cookies, sandwiches, quiche, soups, and salads.
Keller is the first and only American chef to have been awarded simultaneous three star Michelin ratings for two different restaurants. He currently holds seven Michelin stars: three at Per Se, three at The French Laundry, and one at Bouchon Bistro.
“We are very pleased to partner with Bouchon Bakery, which has a well-deserved reputation for excellence, under the leadership of Thomas Keller. We look forward to introducing this innovative dining experience to customers in the Middle East and anticipate an exciting future together,” says Mohammed Alshaya, executive chairman of M.H. Alshaya Co.
In July 2003, Keller opened the doors of his first Bouchon Bakery. Located in Yountville, California, alongside Keller’s Bouchon Bistro and just down the road from The French Laundry, Bouchon Bakery was first conceived as a way to provide these restaurants with one-of-a-kind breads. Bouchon Bakery has since expanded to Beverly Hills, California, Las Vegas and New York City.
Each location is equipped with the right expertise and equipment to ensure excellent quality control. Bouchon Bakery’s Time Warner property has a chocolate machine to make peanut butter cups and other signature treats. The Rockefeller Center location features two Revent ovens, a Revent proofer and a special macaron machine that can make consistent batches of macarons by the hundreds every day. Overall, including all locations, Bouchon Bakery sells more than 1 million macarons each year.