Taste of the American dream.
Both French and experienced business people, Nathalie and Sebastien Debouzzi decided to leave France to live their American Dream in Houston with their family. They opened Amorino franchise in August 2016. An entrepreneurial mindset, passion and eagerness to success are the three ingredients of their American adventure.
Before opening Amorino in 2016, did you both have different backgrounds leading you to this entrepreneurial adventure?
Sebastien: I started 20 years ago in the commerce industry in France, first as a vendor and then as a multi-franchisee manager in Paris. This background gave me the opportunity to build solid skills regarding franchise management, and it was natural for me to open a business as a franchisee in a new country.
Nathalie: On my end, I was raised as a grandchild of a French baker and pastry Chef. My mother had her own business in Paris as the owner of a French brasserie for more than 40 years. I took my first steps as a kid in this place…I guess this is where everything started. Honoring my legacy as a food business owner was an obvious path.
Today, my husband and I manage a famous ice cream franchise, Amorino. We are in charge of the American network as official trainers for all new franchisees. Our store, located in the River Oak District Mall, welcomes, hosts and trains new Amorino US staff.
Can you tell us more about the advantages and downsides of opening a franchise within the USA?
Nathalie: Settling and living in the USA has always been my dream since I was a teenager. Sebastien helped me realize this dream by bringing up the Amorino idea. In the past, he worked with one of the founders and maintained good relationship with him. The main advantage of Amorino as a franchise is that the concept already exists, and the brand has a good reputation and recognized high quality products. On the other hand, we faced financial difficulties, cultural issues, unexpected expenses, high store rental fees, a totally new legal system to learn, and we were surprised by the lack of “fond de commerce”
What are the main differences between owning a business in the USA and in France?
Sebastien: In the US, people consume more products and have this habit of eating out or grabbing a snack or coffee. It’s totally different from France but good for our business! Another major difference is the tax system: taxes in Texas are pretty low compared to France where most businesses struggle. I would also say that the climate in Houston is advantageous for regular ice cream yearning, it is almost summer all the time. Lastly, we own the Amorino exclusivity on the entire Texas territory which is a big competitive advantage. In France we would have to compete with other shops.
Enjoy the Amorino experience: www.amorino.com
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