A fully edible cup made out of chocolate that you can drink from and then bite into. This is the brainchild of Mathilde Lagarrigue (MSC in Management, 2018) and Roxane Blondel, who is also a student at emlyon business school. Their aim? “To revolutionize the art of the coffee break or tea time”.
How did Les Petites Françaises get started?
We came up with the idea at school. In first year, Roxane and I had to work on a plan for a company. We are both gourmets at heart and we very quickly came to a concept based on food. We really had a great time during this period, and everything clicked for both of us.
So you continued studying with this idea in mind?
Yes, we did everything with our project in mind. Each of us decided to get additional experience in the food sector, for example in marketing or events positions, in order to build a network in this field. And our classes focused on entrepreneurship, namely through the Start-Up Program. This last year has been really enriching, and we have been able to work exclusively on our project. It’s very concrete.
How are the cups made?
They are made using a cookie mix and a chocolate frosting. We have created three varieties: vanilla with Guérande salt, cinnamon with almonds and cocoa with hazelnuts. Our products are, when possible, organic and made in France.
What does the term “early maker” mean to you?
It is the drive to be an entrepreneur, the idea of making something with your hands. Something tangible! Like the cups we make.
Who are your customers today?
We sell to companies, namely for seminars, as well as to consumers who have discovered us on social media and placed an order on our site. We are soon going to open an online shop and we would like our cups to be sold at fine foods and gourmet grocery shops.
What did you take home from your time at emlyon business school?
Without any hesitation the two entrepreneurial programs I took part in, PCE and Start-Up. In the first year, you jump right into the shoes of an entrepreneur, you learn to walk, talk and act like one. In our final year, we were no longer students but rather two entrepreneurs who were bringing their project to life.
Do you have any projects to develop with Les petites françaises?
Yes, we eventually wish to develop a range of drinks to go along with the cups and thus offer a complete culinary experience. And perhaps a range of savory cups, too.
What is one of your flaws?
In a job interview, I would say my qualities come with some flaws J. Let’s just say I am determined, and at times a bit narrow-minded.
An expression that suits your personality?
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Once again, it cuts both ways: you have to be a bit stubborn to get what you want.
What if you were to start a new company?
I’m a big coffee lover, so perhaps a coffee shop. In any case, it would have something to do with food. It’s a simple pleasure in life that nobody should turn down.