Our Member Speaks…Interview with Raphael de Macar and Johann Domas-Conzemius, of Maison Chocolat Guérin- Boutron
We continue with our new blog section: Member’s Interview! In this section, we will be able to discover more about the ways companies find themselves on COBCOE Connects or be.connected and, particularly, about their successes on the platform. Today we had a pleasure to interview Raphael de Macar and Johann Domas-Conzemius, of Maison Chocolat Guérin- Boutron.
Guerin-Boutron is a very old French brand. Maison Chocolat Guérin-Boutron was founded in Paris in 1775, as a family business by Boutron-Roussel. It was very famous and at that time specialized in dark chocolates. The factory and the Parisian shops were closed in 1942, when the last member of the family died. Production of tablets and pralines restarted in Belgium in May 2017.
Raphael de Macar is in charge of the company’s branding which includes brand image, visual identity, as well as marketing, merchandising, packaging and social media.
“Our House combines luxury and fair trade”
“ I took up this responsibility in March 2018. I met my current partner, Chief Executive Officer for Chocolat Guerin-Boutron Johann Domas-Conzemius, during a speed dating session for entrepreneurs. Before I was working on another project with Guerin-Boutron related to logistics. During the speed dating event we met and talked about his project because it caught my attention. So we decided to continue together.”
“Our House combines luxury and fair trade, maintaining a refined quality whilst working for human development of the cocoa sector in Ivory Coast. We want to automate the process in the Ivory Coast to reduce child labour on the fields. The objective of our illustrious House is summed up by our determination to ensure that our excellence is at the service of Mankind, by supporting cocoa producers to live better and contributing to the development of their social, economic and environmental well-being” – says Johann Domas- Conzemius, CEO of Guerin-Bourtron
“Sandra, our moderator at BECI, invited us to join and promoted us on the platform”
“We are new to the platform be.connected. As yet we haven’t used be.connected directly ourselves, but we were happy that Sandra, our moderator in BECI, invited us to join and has actively promoted us on the platform. We met Sandra at the end of last year. For us, the end of the year is very busy, because of the Christmas holidays. We make a significant part of our turnover during this time, as we get many orders from clients. So we didn’t have time to manage our be.connected account ourselves, but when we met with Sandra we explained our needs. She came at the right time to help us with be.connected. Sandra posted an opportunity for us and soon we saw the opportunity posted on social media. Sandra also found us several leads. So now we have learned how the platform promotes us via social media.
We would from now like to make better use of it ourselves in the future.”
“Our interest is in developing relationships with luxury hotels, big companies that organise annual general assemblies, so that we could supply them with chocolate. We are not interested in B2C, but rather we focus on developing relationships with B2B companies, that can develop their relationships with customers. So we work with restaurants or hotels that can distribute our products via their channels.
“Although we are only just starting with Be.connected, we have quickly generated 4 leads, 2 of which were very good.”
“Our experience of be.connected is positive – and we would recommend it, because if be.connected wasn’t there, we wouldn’t be here today. Although we are only just starting with Be.connected, we have quickly generated 4 leads, 2 of which were very good.
“In term of other tools, platforms and channels, we also use Linkedin and Facebook for business development. On Linkedin we found quite a lot of the right people to connect with. Also, we use the hub.brussels which is also part of BECI activities for startups.”
Be.connected and COBCOE Connects already have over 20 countries on their platforms (France, Bulgaria, UK, Slovenia, Lithuania, Belgium, Netherlands, Canada, Finland, Italy, Nigeria, Central America, Portugal).
“For us the next obvious market would be Asia: China, Japan and South Korea. Those are the top countries that interest chocolate makers. Also Africa because we already do work in Ivory Coast, so we would be willing to expand our interests there”