Establishing a bread factory in France has been a dream for Heo Young-in, chairman of the SPC Group who is also known as Korea's "Baker King." The dream is about to be realized as the group will build a bread factory in Normandy. When completed, it will serve as a bridge to future economic cooperation and diplomacy between South Korea and France.
The SPC Group's Normandy bread factory is attracting much attention as French President Emmanuel Macron referred to SPC Group’s investment in France at the Korea-France Summit held in Paris, France on Oct. 15 (local time).
The SPC Group, which runs bakery chains Paris Baguette and Paris Croissant will build the bread factory in Saint James of Normandy in northwestern France. Construction was scheduled to kick off within this year, but was put off so the factory will be completed in the first half of next year.
Although details of the factory has yet to be determined, the SPC Group plans to nearly triple its size to 100,000 square meters from the initially planned 30,000 square meters.
SPC group chairman Heo Young-in announced the plan to build the factory costing 20 million euros at the France International Business Summit hosted by French President Macron in January.
The Normandy factory will produce "human dough," semi-finished dough which is frozen and fermented. The Normandy region is home to roughly 1,300 food companies. "We have chosen to become an easy-to-supply source of foodstuffs such as meat, vegetables and dairy products,” an SPC official said.
This first SPC bread factory to be built in France will mainly target the European, U.S., and Middle Eastern and African markets. By making dough at this factory and exporting it, the SPC Group will use France as a base for new markets such as the U.S. and the Middle East. The SPC Group has been stepping up its efforts to enter overseas markets lately.
"We will grow into a great food company that will post 20 trillion won in sales and operate 12,000 stores in the world in 2030,” chairman Heo said in his new year message to employees earlier this year, expressing his strong will to make a foray into overseas markets.
Currently, over 300 Paris Baguette stores have opened abroad and they are rapidly increasing in China and the United States. The SPC Group is currently operating two Paris Baguette stores in France and is considering opening more bakeries in the country.
In 2004, the SPC Group entered five countries including China, Vietnam, Singapore and France. The Korean food business group is also in the process of preparing to enter the Middle Eastern market.