Discover three of our fantastic French artisans!
This is the second part of my article about our French artisans!
In the previous one, we talked about Mon Jardin Chocolaté (chocolate bars), L’essaim de la Reine (honey) and Coupable Tartinable (French pâté and vegetarian spreads). I hope you enjoyed reading it and that maybe you had a peek on their French websites. When it comes to food, curiosity is a prerogative don't you think?
Today, we will start with one my favourite thing in the world :”chocolate spreads”! I have been eating chocolate spreads and caramel spreads since childhood. At snack time (ie: 4pm), I would always have a glass of juice with a slice of brioche and chocolate spread. Hence, my desire to start with our unique artisan chocolate spread.
- LaFrenchi is a company led by a fantastic woman named Julie and she is based in the heart of Paris. Julie started her training in 2016 at a pastry school called Ferrandi Paris. She was lucky enough to work alongside other chefs like Nicolas Paciello and she learnt a great deal about pastry and the art of chocolate making. The same year, around Christmas time, she decided to create a range of personalised sweet treats for her family and that’s when the idea of LaFrenchi was born.
In 2018, she left her job and decided to set up her chocolate spreads company. From now on, she will only create recipes that are 100% natural. All her spreads are palm oil free, preservative free, colouring free and without artificial aromas. Everything is prepared by hand from start to finish. She even sticks all the labels herself! We love her because she cares about the quality of the ingredients she uses and she works with other French artisans.
Did I also mention that her products are deliciously delicious? She is currently manufacturing a range of 14 different spreads. Eight chocolate spreads and six caramel spreads. Her goal is not to produce tons of chocolate spreads, but to bring you a premium product made by hand with the best possible ingredients!
Moving on to artisan number two and tea. I love tea! Herbal tea, iced tea, organic tea, loose tea, I simply love all the teas. I was determined to add a unique range of teas to our collection of French hampers and I am glad we found GreenMa.
For me, tea is more than just throwing a tea bag in a mug and pouring hot water over it. Don't get me wrong! I have normal tea bags in my cupboards. However, from time to time or when I have guests, I like the process of preparing a good brew with loose tea.
- GreenMa is led by Cécile and she is really knowledgeable about tea. Our first phone call was just focused on tea leaves, aromas, the packaging process and how she partnered up with with a certified herbalist. She only works with organic tea leaves and she built the ethos of her company around three key notions: Sustainability, Authenticity & Design.
1. Sustainability: all her stickers are printed on recycled paper with a plant-based ink. All her jars are made of glass and she also provides tea refills in kraft paper bags.
2. Authenticity: all her teas are certified organic. They do not contain any artificial aroma and they are made with whole leaves. 80% of her plants come from France and are hand-picked. The black teas, however, come from China, Sri Lanka and India but they are all certified organic by A.B France.
3. Design: she chose a minimalist look so that the leaves are the centre of attention. It’s all about the leaves and their natural powers.
As you can imagine, we love working with GreenMa. She is really well-informed about tea and she is also collaborating with a French herbalist to create brews that have the best health benefits. Her philosophy of life and her work ethic make her the ideal person to work with. It’s been fantastic selling her products!
Finally, we are going to finish on a high with La Chambre aux Confitures, our artisan jam maker. If you have been following us on Facebook or Instagram, then you know that breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. Therefore, it only made sense to include the best possible jams in our French hampers.
The true difficulty is that jams are everywhere nowadays. It is really easy to buy all sorts of flavours and they are generally pretty nice. It was a big challenge to find a truly delicious artisan jam that would stand out from the crowd.
- La Chambre aux Confitures was born in 2011. Their goal was to create a range of jams without using preservatives, artificial flavours or colouring. They have created a range of traditional jams, but also a range of modern fruity combinations.
Every time they create a new flavour, they work around four senses: sight, smell, texture & emotions.
- Sight: because they want their jams to stand out. Their colours are bright and enticing and the design of the jar is really chic.
- Smell: because they want their jams to burst with flavours. With their jams, you can truly taste the fruits and all the different aromas. It’s not just sweet, it’s exquisitely fruity!
- Textures: their jams are really surprising because they have so many different textures. Some are creamy, like the roasted chestnuts jam, some are tingly like the Champagne and Rose jam and some are really smooth.
- Emotions: because when you taste them, they take you back to your childhood. When I tried the strawberry jam, it tasted exactly like the one my grand-mother used to make. Sweet, yes, but also summery. It tasted like the sun. There were bit of strawberries rolling down on my tongue. One spoon and I instantly travelled back in time to my nana's kitchen, her crêpes and her homemade jams.
Believe me, you will not find these jams anywhere else in the UK.
Now that you know pretty much everything, I think there is only one thing left to do...how about we have a little snack? :) I think I might have a crumpet with butter and jam.
Don't worry, there will be more to discover because when you work with artisans, you work with people. They grow, they change, they have new projects, new ideas and in this case new flavours. I am really excited about the future. All I see is potential.
See you soon!
Jessie & La French Maison