French Fancies: Fauchon

I’m continuing with my series of posts about French family-run hospitality. This one though has had a bit of a rocky ride!

Fauchon : 130 ans d'histoire en 10 dates-clés et quelques photos - ATABULA - Edition générale | Paris history, Vintage paris, Old paris

Fauchon is a family-owned company involved in French luxury gastronomy since 1886 that operates restaurants, catering cafes, hotels and retail outlets.

How it all began


The founder of the Fauchon brand, Auguste Fauchon, was born in Ellon, Calvados in 1856. He moved to Paris in 1880, where he began to work as a street vendor, moving on to become a wine and spirits merchant. In 1886, at the age of 30, he opened a fine foods outlet on Place de la Madeleine in 8th arrondissement of Paris.

Fauchon, the Benchmark for Luxury French Gastronomy in the World Plus Hospitality for Fine French Food Lovers | EAT LOVE SAVOR Luxury Lifestyle

The quality of the products made by Fauchon, and its numerous approved suppliers, came to symbolise French-style luxury. During WWII, restrictions and rationing made business difficult for the company. Auguste Fauchon died in 1945, and his children sold the most famous grocery shop in France to Joseph Pilosoff, owner of the Poulain chocolate factory, who developed the brand which was then taken over by his grand-daughter Martine Prémat.

The company strategy to sell its products in mass-market superstore chains, such as Carrefour and Auchan, backfired and management was reproached with spoiling the company’s image. Despite attempts to expand the group in the 1990s by opening shops in Geneva and Saudi Arabia – only to close them a few years later – or by sponsoring the Paris Dakar rally, Martine Prémat finally sold the company to Laurent Adamowicz in March 1998.

Adamowicz, a former investment banker and business school graduate with experience in the field of luxury products, repositioned the brand on the gourmet foods market. He launched new products and ad campaigns, renovated points of sale, withdrew the brand from mass-market outlets and renovated the historical Tea Salon on Place de la Madeleine. He started a new partnership with Air France, and promoted young pastry chefs such as, Pierre Hermé, Sébastien Godard, Christophe Adam, Dominique Ansel and Cedric Grolet.

In 2000, Fauchon became a profitable company again,  opening new stores in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Middle East, Europe and, finally, in the United States with support from a diversified investor group.

The acquisition of the Flo outlets in Paris in 2002 and the opening of three shops in New York led to a sharp rise in income between 1998 and 2004, but a decline in Fauchon’s net profits. In the spring and summer of 2003, Fauchon, heavily in debt, was affected by the collapse of the tourism market with the combination of several events: the Iraq War and the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime in April 2003, followed in May 2003 with the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus epidemic, and then the unprecedented heat wave in Europe that hit France particularly hard.

In January 2004, Adamowicz sold his interest in the company to Michel Ducros, one of the sons of Gilbert Ducros (1928–2007), the founder of the Ducros spice business. From 2004 onwards, new CEO Michel Ducros bought out most of the other shareholders, both private and institutional.

In 2004, the company adopted a strategy to boost profits by selling off those assets they deemed to be non-strategic, closing stores in Russia and the United States, selling its ready-prepared meal tray business to the Fleury Michon group and, finally, selling the Fauchon Paris stores to rival Lenôtre.

Collection box | FAUCHON Paris

Michel Ducros set up a strict sourcing strategy with suppliers to promote the French savoir-faire and develop exclusive recipes. To this day, Fauchon continues to produce most of its own breads, cakes, pastries and delicatessen products on its premises.

Fauchon La Madeleine Retrospective | Paris Insiders Guide

In 2013, Ducros appointed Eric Vincent as CEO, who announced ambitious plans for the company, aiming to have 100 outlets by 2017 (from 63 in 2013), mostly in franchises. In addition, Fauchon reinforced its presence in Asia, North America and the Middle East.

In March 2018, the company launched Fauchon Hospitality to develop a network of luxury boutique hotels around the world, with a focus on Japan, Europe and the Middle East. Fauchon Hospitality has a heavy-weight team headed by Jacques-Olivier Chauvin, previously CEO of Relais & Châteaux and SVP of Van Cleef & Arpels; Samy Vischel, vice president of Fauchon Hospitality; and, Bernard Lambert, the international business advisor, former president of SBM and the Méridien company.

Fauchon L'Hôtel – Paris - Paris, France : The Leading Hotels of the World


In September 2018, Fauchon opened its first luxury boutique hotel, the Fauchon L’Hôtel Paris, situated on the Place de la Madeleine — the legendary home of the Fauchon brand, decked out in its signature colours.

Sadly, the historic site of Place de la Madeleine was hit hard successively by the attacks of January and November 2015, in 2018 by the gilets jaunes protests, the strikes of 2019-2020 and the virtual disappearance of tourism due to the pandemic.

In January 2020, the Fauchon Receptions subsidiary was placed in compulsory liquidation followed in June by the placement into receivership of the parent company.

In September of the same year, the local Commercial Court approved the company’s continuation plan which provided for the closure of its historic shops at 24–26 and 30 Place de la Madeleine. Only the hotel, the Grand Café and the tea shop remained open.

Fauchon Hotel Kyoto - Kyoto, Japon : The Leading Hotels of the World

Fauchon began the relaunch its activities with the launch of its second 5-star boutique hotel in March 2021 in Kyoto, Japan (above). A third is planned for Saudi Arabia. In addition, the brand announced the opening of a Fauchon school with training in food and service trades, based in Rouen.


Michel Ducros and Samy Vischel have been at the helm of Fauchon through much of its recent challenges. In particular, they have considerably developed the brand’s expansion internationally and on various markets, such as travel retail. The brand is now present in more than 19 countries around the world, 75 outlets, two 5-star hotels and a gastronomy school.

Fauchon Hospitality plans to establish a portfolio of 20 hotels worldwide over the next decade through co-operating with the best local third-party management companies and operators within the structure of a long-term partnership.

For its continued global expansion, the top priorities include countries where Fauchon is well known (Europe, Japan, Middle East, Eastern Asia) and countries or cities where the Fauchon Hospitality target customers and affluent travellers live such as,  Los Angeles, Miami, New York, London, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

All images courtesy of Fauchon

32 Comments on “French Fancies: Fauchon

  1. Know the story well, one of my fav stores going and back from work was passing in front at Pl de la Madeleine and of course bring home some goodies, the family love it. Sadly many have closed lately and some holding on if only for the prices they can get in Paris. Thanks for the memories Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. How interesting, this is the first time I’ve heard of Fauchon. The branding is beautiful, may they continue to adapt and thrive. I’ve learned a lot about French heritage brands through these posts and very much enjoy them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tourism has really picked up in France, particularly Paris and French Riviera which is great news for the hospitality sector


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