“The bar was set very high” – Stef Meulemans, CEO Top Brands and operator of Belgian Boulangerie Paul branches
The Langemunt is expanding. After the Primark and H&M, Boulangerie Paul is also opening its doors. With the smell of oven-fresh success, Stef Meulemans, CEO of Top Brands and operator of the Belgian Boulangerie Paul branches, shows us his insights.
‘The area around the Vrijdagmarkt was definitely one of the places we had set our eyes on,’ Stef Meulemans explains, ‘but it wasn’t easy to find a building that was not too big or too small for Paul.’ It’s clear that the bar was set very high because Stef Meulemans was looking for a property with 200m² including a terrace, a beautiful façade, a high ceiling and lots of light. ‘Absolutely not something evident in the city centre, I know that, but then the project of MG Real Estate in the Langemunt crossed our path. A new development project, perfect.’ Everyone knows: to find the optimal property is one thing but to create a good deal is something else. ‘Within these type of negotiations, parties often put high stakes on the details, but with MG Real Estate we were clearly working with a very professional party. We immediately found each other, which made our cooperation very smoothly. And fast, something we can only appreciate.’ Are there any plans for the future? ‘I definitely won’t rule out any new cooperation with MG, no. We’re planning a second branch of Paul in Ghent. The plans aren’t concrete yet – they will be for 2017 or 2018 – but who knows!’