July 6, 2015
French deli owner hails IME help
Property agency also helps set-up Edinburgh’s first Lithuanian shop
The owner of a popular French creperie in Edinburgh has revealed how the project wouldn’t have got off the ground had it not been for IME Property Ltd owner Ian McDonald.
After completing a degree in International Business and Catering & Hotel Management in France, Marie Claire Lafont had a clear vision of what she wanted to achieve in life – to open her own creperie and tea room serving speciality Breton crepes, galettes and pastries.
A holiday to Scotland in May 2012 included a trip to Edinburgh and Marie fell in love with the culture and history of the city and decided it would be the perfect place to start-up her own business. She returned home to France, formulated her plan and travelled back to Edinburgh at the end of August to look for premises.
“Despite approaching a number of estate agents, no-one was keen to help a young French woman. They just didn’t take me seriously,” explained Marie.
That was until she met IME Property Ltd owner Ian McDonald who found her a suitable space within a few weeks. Ian then proceeded to help and advise Marie with every aspect of setting-up a new business in Scotland.
“Ian helped me with everything from health and safety to pest control, transforming the property into a tea room and even with driving in Edinburgh. When I first arrived I was terrified of driving on the wrong side of the road!” she explained.
After leaving her family behind in France to chase her dream, Marie opened ‘Marie Delices’ in Comiston Road, Morningside on 27th February 2013 – her 28th birthday. The shop is now moving into its third year of business and the clientele has grown significantly, allowing Marie to take on two full-time and one part-time assistants.
“The business is definitely growing, but none of this would have been possible without the help and advice I received from Ian McDonald. He still takes time to check in on the business and help me with any problems I come across – I call him my godfather,” joked Marie.