Oct 3, 2022
In this episode of French Insider, Benjamin Sormonte, co-founder and co-owner of Maman, the French bakeries and cafes known for making Oprah’s favorite chocolate chip cookies, speaks about building a successful lifestyle brand in North America, including the challenges of bringing a very French experience to a North American audience and the role that Instagram and other social media platforms have played in Maman's success.
A French-born lawyer, Benjamin and his wife, Elisa Marshall, opened the first Mamon in 2014. What began as a single, independent Soho bakery and cafe has since grown into a leading lifestyle brand that boasts locations across New York City, Montreal, and Toronto, complete with a line of retail items that allows its loyal following to "take Maman home.” Maman is known for its delicious menu of hearty farm fresh salads, quiches, sandwiches, and of course pastries and sweets, including a famous nutty chocolate chip cookie that was named one of ‘Oprah’s favorite things’” in 2017 and one of the best chocolate chip cookies in New York by NY Magazine.
Maman means "mother" in French and remains a passion project for Benjamin and Elisa, despite the brand's exponential growth. The two have successfully melded their earliest childhood experiences in the kitchen, along with a nod to their mothers from the south of France and North America, into an all-encompassing sensory experience marked by rustic décor at every turn, the aroma and comfort of cuisines inspired by family traditions, and the highest quality, locally sourced ingredients.
Benjamin Sormonte, co-founder and co-owner of Maman
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