Discover who our artisans are!
Our artisans & La French Maison.
Hello everyone, it has been a while since I wrote an article! Things have been really busy and I found no time to sit down and write something. As a French native living in England, it still takes me time to write in English, but that’s not the only reason why it took me so long to get back to you! The truth is: we were tasting artisan French food for our hampers, meeting with artisans (via Zoom), discussing possible future collaborations and dreaming of what could be done! We also worked on the design of our signature wooden hamper box and the preparation of the storage facility. It has been very hectic, but I am happy to tell you that all our hampers are now available for purchase.
Today is the day when I tell you a little bit more about three of our artisans. It is going to be a challenge to encapsulate the work of an artisan in a single article, but there will be more blogs to come. So, with no further ado, let’s start:
- The honey comes from an artisan beekeeper called L’essaim de la Reine. It translates as “The Queen's Swarm”. The beekeeper, Romain, is truly passionate about his work. He raises his own queen bees and practices what is called the transhumance of bees. That’s when the beekeeper moves his entire apiary to a location of his choosing. The aim is to provide the bees with the best natural environment with a lot of interesting honey plants and no pollution. All his honeys are mono floral and pure. What's in the jar is honey from the bees and nothing else. There is no added sugar, no mix of different honeys or added flavours. The various beehives are scattered around the south-west of France, in different locations chosen for their natural habitat and abundance of honey plants. In total, they produce five different types of honey: Acacia, Sunflower, Chestnut, Buckthorn, and Linden honey.
Romain is so committed to the preservation of bees that all his hives are built by hand and made of wood. They do not use any chemicals or glues that could harm the bees! We had the chance to talk to his team on many occasions. They have so much knowledge about bees and honey plants that I soon realised that I knew very little about bees and honey. I strongly encourage you to check their Instagram @l_essaim_de_la_reine ! They have a lot of lovely pictures and you will be able to see the beekeeper: Romain!
- Our chocolate bars come from Mon jardin Chocolaté in the heart of Paris. Carine is the artisan chocolatière who creates these magical flavours. She set up her “chocolaterie” in 2015. Her cocoa beans are certified organic and fair-trade. She is so committed to her craft that she selects all the ingredients herself and everything in her workshop is handmade!
We absolutely love her sweet creations, but we also love the fact that she works with a charity called Aurore, employing people in great difficulties and from underprivileged background. She teaches them various skills and give them the work experience they need to step into the world of work. In French, we call her business “une chocolaterie artisanale, bio et solidaire”. It means that the entire chocolate making process is artisanal, made with organic ingredients and supportive of those in need. She makes all sorts of different kind of chocolates. Some are filled with different pralines, some are made with rose petals. She also work with some really unusual ingredients such as coriander seeds and she makes her own range of chocolate spreads. We are really happy to work with her because she offers a great variety of products of the utmost quality! Just talking about her chocolates make me want to eat some. Her Instagram is @monjardinchocolate !
- Our final artisan for today is the pâté from Coupable Tartinable. In English is means “Spreadable Guilt”! They started their adventure in 2019 and when I say they: I mean Morgane and Quentin. They are based in Le Havre and they do everything themselves! Quentin used to be a chef and he is really keen to surprise you with his creations. We love the fact that they have made the effort to meet each single one of their suppliers and build a true relationship with them. When they can, they use ingredients from organic farming. That’s the case for the porc meat and some other ingredients such as the chickpeas, the olive oil, the saffron and many more. It’s not always easy for small artisans to afford organic products, but they have made the decision to select the very best ingredients every time they can.
Actually, if you venture on their website and speak a little bit of the French lingo, you will be able to see all sorts of information regarding their suppliers. You can tell that they work with real small artisans who are passionate about what they do. They have also been awarded the title of “Producteur Artisan de Qualité” (Quality artisan producer) by the Collège Culinaire de France. This Collège was founded by fifteen chefs across France. Among them you will find chefs like Alain Ducasse, Paul Bocuse or Anne-Sophie Pix. Impressive, isn’t it?
Finding French artisans to work with us has been a real rollercoaster of emotions, but I am truly delighted by the range of products that we are able to bring to the English scene. In my next article, I will be revealing a little more about the rest of the artisans we are working with . In the meantime, you should have a look at our Facebook page or our Instagram @la_french_maison. There is a lot going on there…
Jessica & La French Maison