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Stéphanie Jauquet (Cocottes): scaling generosity

She began working in restaurants for other people, then took ownership of Um Plateau, A Table and Tempo before founding Cocottes and opening 10 shops. Now she runs a factory! Visit.

Café & croissant

You have to cross the border twice in a minute to reach the Cocottes factory: once on the motorway and again near Arlon, just past Ikea. It’s 8 o’clock on a sunny morning and Stéphanie is already there, perfectly relaxed. This could seem surprising, given that the 175 employees of the group, which she has patiently developed, work 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. Pâtissiers at Cocottes start at 1am, before being joined by cooks at 5am, by the sales teams at 7am and by the restaurant staff at 9.30am. The last restaurant closes at 1am. Stéphanie has to be a tough cookie to manage the entire team – although she has a soft centre: “it takes a lot of diplomacy. I try to provide an optimal working environment with a motivating salary.”

”Today, solutions to every problem are plentiful and accessible.”

The factory

The brand-new building features a built-in Cocottes shop, beautiful offices and a labyrinth of spacious rooms and fridges. Walking through each room, you realise how complicated regulations are in the food sector. Stéphanie doesn’t seem bothered: she’s the Managing Director of Munis, a consulting firm which specialises in food regulations and is located onsite! Once you’ve washed your hands and put on your astronaut-like suit and hat, you find out how all the suppliers deliver their goods on the lower level, before an army of specialists store, move, cook, assemble, package, store - once more -  and ship them. Everything is very quiet and constantly washed! In every room, Stéphanie transports you to the future: a new machine will soon be arriving here, a special production line can be set-up there at night for special deliveries, this fridge will be completely full in 3 hours and empty 10 minutes later. It takes a strong vision to invest several millions in such a venture. Stéphanie has a clear plan and a long track record of success, having put in plenty of work and long hours.

On the menu

From her headquarters, Stéphanie can now focus on the scalability of her activities. She could choose to open shops in Paris or Brussels, to add more addresses to her collection in Luxembourg or to develop further collaborations with supermarkets. It’s all in her hands. Luxembourg is small but the world is big! She opened the first Cocottes in May 2014 as a creative way to use her kitchen in the evening. It took less than 5 years to see copycat companies – an impressive tribute! Cocottes is no longer an experiment: it’s pure business. The entrepreneur with the best vision, the best team and the best implementation will win. On that very morning, Stéphanie definitely looked like a future champion, combining caring management with a particularly precise vision.

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