I’m the daughter of a farmer, a pedigree that is my pride.
Born on a vast farm in Bazois, I grew up in fields of cereals, in the midst of the flocks that we raised. We all had to pinch in! When I was seven years old, as soon as I came home from school, I took care of the kitchen garden. At 10, I had learned to treat animals. At 13, I drove the tractor. I had to help, and I enjoyed it!
It was not easy every day, but it was wonderful every day. I can still feel, between my palms, the warmth of newly laid eggs and I still have in the mouth, the flavour of the first strawberry that I harvested and the wild blackberries we would pick from the hedges.
The city was far away, the first neighbour was several miles away, and all the food except sugar and chicory came from the farm. Everything, including the warm apple turnovers that my mother put on top of the wood-burning oven, and on which my sisters and I jump every afternoon, coming home from school.
I was a good student, my sisters, too. It is normal: we had been educated in the cult of excellence, responsibility and freedom. One by one, we left the farm to study. Before even going to Dijon, I went to the United States, and only then did I "climb" to Paris. A good job in a groundbreaking multinational. But I missed Chavance, its tastes, its seasons, its laughs and rituals.
It seems natural that I came back to the senses and my sense, to the flavours and the smells, that I came back when I wanted to stand on my own. At the farm, I had learned how a business worked. I wanted to start. In Morocco, I fell in love with the argan, a fruit unknown in my region, twenty years ago. I felt goosebumps in front of the walnuts, almonds, pistachios oils and pine nuts, sesame or hazelnut oils that a passionate producer, one day, made me taste, in France.
I left the world of audits to find myself, with my husband Francis, on a market: then and there, amidst the local customers and the tourists as surprised by these flavours as I had been, Mille et Une Huiles was born. The brand has grown, it has met success abroad! Emotion when the first cargo of our products from the land left for Canada in the middle of winter. Heart fluttering when our oils and vinegar shipped to Japan.
Respect, humility, a taste for hard work: with the producers, I continue to share the same values, they became my friends. Creativity, exchanges, desires: with my team which grew up, we are now a family.
Mille et Une Huiles is 20. 20 years old. Already…Bonne dégustation !