Story of a popcorn pionner
Nataïs’s story is a story of my passion for the land. I grew up in a farmers’ family in Germany and my parents are the ones who made me want to respectfully work the land, discover and try out new things. When I was 24, I went to visit my in-laws in the US and I met this popcorn farmer who shared that same passion. At that moment, the idea of growing popcorn on the family farm in France struck me. My parents had just invested in 240 hectares of fields in the South West France.
So I brought back 2kg of popcorn seeds over the ocean in my suitcase. Of course at that time I would have never imagined becoming the first european popcorn producer ! In the following years we experimented a lot of varieties and all kinds of techniques to finally end up with a satisfying outcome specifically tailored to our soil and climate conditions.
When the time to sell our first crops came along, I started looking for markets to sell this european-grown popcorn. I must say, it was tricky ! Everyone was suspicious of a french grown popping corn. Thankfully, I was able to understand the specifics of the industry by visiting many plants and customers. These encounters motivated me to constantly be on the lookout for potential process improvements. In 2006, I was lucky enough to meet Jérôme Réthoré – our current General Manager- he was able to share his precious expertise in structuring the whole company and more particularly our industrial process. During all those years I genuinely enjoyed building up a network in the popcorn industry – especially with the farmers who trusted me and built it from the ground up. I believe I was able to pass down my passion for popcorn to the farmers and the Nataïs team.
These trustful and long term relationships between employees, producers, customers and suppliers are responsible for what Nataïs stands for today.