€5 off Shipping for your first order: BURROW101
Meet François, one of the two Mr Plants (aka brewmasters) at our burrow in the Alps
His mission: to track down the best plants!
Animal sprit: rhino with a hint of marmot
Favourite plant: lemon balm. It's both strong and fragile at the same time, it plays its cards close to its chest.
Most annoying plant: mint, because it's one of the most temperamental!
My paternal grandfather was a farmer, my maternal grandparents were horticulturists and I spent all my summers outdoors in the Vosges moutains, in Eastern France.
So, above all, I'm a great lover of nature. And because I like to understand things, it felt natural to study biology and become an agricultural engineer.
After my studies, I went to Namibia as a volunteer on a rural economic development project. I spent two and a half years there looking for outlets for the abundant natural resources. For example, we opened a plant oil extraction facility for the cosmetics industry.
Then I went to stay with a friend who had a farm in the desert. She wanted to reintroduce the black rhinoceros, but to do so she had to carry out a census of the plants in the area. So I set about making a herbarium. I collected, identified and named plants, right in the middle of Africa.
Back in France, I first joined a small business making natural cosmetic ingredients before my passion for plants caught up with me. I then went back to my studies, training as a herbalist before responding to an ad placed by Les 2 Marmottes. After several interviews, I got my ticket to the burrow!
I'm a "crop master" - I source plants. My job is to find the best plants and liaise with our growers. They really are trusted partners, with whom we share much more than a commercial relationship. We listen to each other, we share our knowledge, we look for solutions together, so we can work towards ever greater quality while respecting nature. Some producers have been working with Les 2 Marmottes for two or three generations. It really is a big, beautiful family.
As we never use added flavourings in our recipes, the most important thing is to find plants that taste good. We ask for samples, taste them and have them analysed (to check that there are no traces of pesticides, for example). We work with whole plants as much as possible, which we then cut and blend on site.
I have a soft spot for Blackcurrant Rooibos and I also really like one of the latest blends: Lemon-Ginger herbal tea. But I might be a little biased because I was the one who first started blending that!
I think above all it's about timing, the right tea and the right time. For example, I swear by the Digestive Cocktail tea after a raclette (an Alpine dish of melted cheese on boiled potaoes)... That's what makes the world of plants and herbal teas so magical!