Patisserie chain Maison Blanc is undergoing a major rebranding programme following the return to the business of founder Raymond Blanc as shareholder and consultant chef.
The group, which was founded by Blanc in 1981, was acquired by a group of investors in 2007 whose aim has been to revitalise and rebrand the concept.
They have brought Blanc back to the business to oversee the relaunch of its food offer, which will include the overhaul of its patisserie and bread ranges as well as the launch of extended breakfast, light lunch and afternoon tea menus.
Maison Blanc, which currently operates 14 outlets in London and the South East, also plans to refurbish all of its existing sites and managing director Eric Hanson told Caterer the group plans to change the format of some of its smaller stores.
"Some of our smaller stores are no more than a counter and we're looking to move these to bigger sites with space for bigger kitchens so that each shop will bake its croissants on site," he said.
"We have revamped some of our existing sites and are opening store 15 in Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, in June. We're also actively looking to expand the business and now is a very good time to be looking for new sites."
Blanc added that the new food offer at Maison Blanc marks a move "back to basics".
"We want to return to basics and that means cutting the range down, simplifying the offer and implementing an increased focus on quality, seasonality and freshness of ingredients," he said.
"It's all about simple elegance, creating lighter pastries and offering a range that represents the values of quality I stand for. At some point in the future we may also launch light supper menus."
By Kerstin Kühn
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