langue    
    
Michel, from wooden
barrels to doypack
sleeves
      
 

 

In 1946, Michel, son of André Laurent, was a 14-year old apprentice butcher. Three years later, he became a farmer when his parents had  an accident and were laid up for several months. His early training was to prove extremely useful in hte immediate post-war period. Butchers, salters and restaurant owners were keen to buy his vegetable sauerkraut with production increasing rapidly and steadily from 800 tons in the 1950's to 9000 tons in the 1990's. He reinvested all the money he earned in production units. In 1960, he built his first sauerkraut canning plant, perfecting his equipment as the years went by: autoclave, labelling machin, glass fiber vats, doypack bagging machine, can sealing machine, weighing machine, etc. At the same time, production was expanding, with 17,000 tons of cabbages being produced today, 2/3 of which are produced in partnership with a consortium of growers.

When he became boss of a small business, Michel quickly came to realise that recipes would have to evolve, whilst convinced that there was a gap in the marcket for traditional, home-style food, based on standard and reliable products, with a reputation for quality. Sold plain in the beginning, Laurent vegetable sauerkraut was later produced with added bacon pieces, grapes or champagne. Traditional canning methods partly gave way to new formats. The Laurent Company provided butchers with vacuum-packed sauerkraut, which the consumer can accompny with the fresh cooked meat of his choice. The Laurent company has been able to grasp and anticipate successive technological advances: the 33 lbs bulk replaced the wooden barrel in the '70's, then cooking and vacuum packing were adopted to broaden the range. Today, 8.8, 17.6, 35.2 oz portions are commonplace and the R&D department is working on forms of packaging for the future.

 

 

  
The company history    

 

100 years of constant modernisation

Since 1906, Paul Laurent, our forerunner from the south of Champagne, started out growing cabbages for sauerkraut on his farm in Blignicourt in the Aube, on rich alluvial land. His son André took over from him in 1945, increasing the size of the business by constructing a sauerkraut production plant. It was the grandson, Michel, the current chairman of the Supervisory board, who in 1960 incorporated a canning plant. He carrefully selects the seeds, grows and harvests his own crops and has created a range of ready-to-eat sauerkraut, with "Champagne sauerkraut" as its flagship product. Constantly on the lookout for new techniques, Michel Laurent strives to adapt them to remain faithful to the natural fermentation process and traditional manufaturing methods. It is by following this code of practice that he has laid a solid foundation for the company and has built up a real agri-food business around this culinary specialty.

 4 generations of cabbages growers 

Today, the 4th generation of the Laurent family has taken over the reins of the business and is carrying on the tradition by updating the product to consolidate the company's lead in France. Agnès chairs the Board of Directors with a three-man management team consisting of her husband, Daniel Le Runigo and her brother and sister François and Anne. The company, still exclusicely family-owned, relies on its know-how-how and expertise. It conceives and develops a wide range of high-quality gourmet sauerkraut. Traditional foods make up the range, following the same principles: to rediscver the flavours of yesterday giving them a modern twist to suit new ways of life (taste, ease of use, food safety,...)

 


 

 


  
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