Interview

Interview of M. Christophe Labarre (creator of Gourmet Food Export)

Interview Gourmet Food Export color dots

 

What made you built Gourmet Food Export company?

In fact, our wish was to make a company able to integrate the knowledge of our background, a dynamic, innovative and pro-active company. Food and me, it is a long story. In 1999, I was project manager for the FACC (French American Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles), creating links in between the French / American community working with major hotels and restaurants. I was also in charge of key events such as the « Beaujolais Festival » (over 400 people and more than 20 food partners – caterers, restaurants, importers). Then, I worked for Andros (which makes « Bonne Maman » jams, « Andros » fruit purée and fresh juices), Bongrain (which makes « Cœur de Lion » soft cheese and « Elle & Vire International » cream and butter for retail and food service) and International de Ventes Alimentaires (Farmed cheeses).

These experiences drove me to the creation of a company in which we could project our universe, be one team with our partners because at the end, everything is linked. More than that, we were looking for a real human adventure.

The name of our company is simple, efficient and strong. A gourmet is a person that has a certain knowledge of the food, this person must appreciate the « global beauty » of eating and drinking, from the kitchen to the mouth. This is what I have learnt over years, mainly through business travels. This also represents the majority of our partners. They also travel a lot trying to bring the best of what is produced in food to their clients. This is a quest for taste without being part of the elite.

You have been working for 5 years in the dairy business. Why don’t you stay in that field?

Since I was in the dairy business I have learnt a lot, made many nice and rich meetings. Nevertheless, I wanted to bring something else to the international. I am convinced that Gourmet Food Export is answering a true need and brings a real added value on the market. We are bringing quality and a real service. Of course we cannot answer all demands of our clients and partners but, thanks to a work on different categories of products (Delicatessen, Fresh…), we cover the main part. For us, the main point is to bring a concrete answer.

How do you select your partners?

I have been visiting my partners (suppliers and clients) for years. My level of analysis is naturally based on the « farmer » common sense because I am from the Perigord. I truly believe in a natural selection brought by the pleasure of a well-done job. This is a human task and the result is found in mouth!

Naturally, we have a guideline and our wish is to bring products that are:

 >  Premium (creative and tasty)

 >  Innovative (concept, approach, convenient)

 >  Healthy and natural

 >  Reliable

This is possible, because we have many local producers that are doing a great job. There is a true product culture as they prove it to us every day.