Sustainable brunch:loving food, localness, seasonality, patience and courage on the menu

Interview of Matthias Behar, CEO of Brunch me up Tablier_cuisine

Matthias is a 25 years old young man who is working since one year on the creation of a brunch home delivery company in the city of Aix en Provence, France. He intends his company to respect the principles of sustainable development. But concretely how to reconcile pleasure of a nice brunch and sustainability? Well this interview may help us figure it out.

How did you have the idea of creating a brunch home delivery company?

It was a Sunday morning in Lille, it was cold and my fridge was empty. We wanted to go for a brunch, but it was impossible to book anywhere. Everything was full and I realized there could a place for this type of activity.

What are the main obstacles to create your company?

First, the regulations in force, in particular hygiene and safety standards. Then, it’s quite hard to find some information, I have points of contacts but many times then don’t have all the answers to my questions. At last, time management : I had to learn to organize my work all by myself, respect a reverse planning, be my own boss. And this is not easy, especially regarding the administrative issues linked with creating a company, for instance on average you will need to wait 6 months to get a subsidy. It’s difficult to work with people that don’t have the same priorities. photo blog1

How your project is sustainable?

Brunch me up philosophy is based on three pillars:

The product: a good product must be fresh, seasonal and locally product. I will prefer a product cultivated locally from an organic product coming from China, India or Brazil. Those are the criteria that I take into account to select my suppliers, directly choosing them or indirectly through intermediaries that know well the producers.

Homemade cooking: we want everything to be prepared by us and be seasonal, with no frozen products.

Respect of the environment: I want the activity of Brunch me up to be at the origin of the less negative externalities possible. We will use electrical vehicles to deliver brunches in order to avoid noise pollution, in particular in Aix where there are a lot of small streets; an electrical scooter will be almost silent. Our products will be packed in recyclable/recycled packaging. We will also implement an incentive system for recyclable materials, for instance if a customer bring back 5 yogurt tubs, we’ll offer them a free muffin for the next brunch (cf. the idea is to promote circular economy). Regarding unsold products, we foresee to have partnership with associations such as Restos du cœurs or the Secours populaire in order to avoid as much as we can food waste.

According to you, what does mean sustainable nutrition?

It is first a qualitatively good type of nutrition that makes people happy to eat. Then, it means products what are produced is a sustainable way like a said before. Personally, I prefer buying products to a local supplier who try to be respectful of its environment, even if he doesn’t have an organic label. A sustainable nutrition, it’s also a nutrition that adapts itself to season. The brunch me up menus will for instance change every two months to propose seasonal products.

We also want to establish sustainable relation with our suppliers, avoid the logic of reducing cost and increase time to pay in order to create a relation based on trust, because suppliers are key stakeholders to the success of our project.

Concretely, what are the main constraints and benefits of those choices (for instance in terms  of costs) ?

Choosing seasonal products may be an obstacle because we need to work in short circuits in terms of time limit. Indeed the product seasonality implies some technical constraints and can impeach the delivering of some products we would need. We will need to show a good capacity of adaptation. Then, seasonal fresh products can be harder to keep, so it’s necessary to be very careful in putting in orders to have less unsold products.  As regards to the benefit, the good knowledge of our suppliers allows to reduce some risks, for instance the one related to hygiene and safety standards. In terms of price, it doesn’t have so much impact because we are talking about wholesalers’ price and not retailers ‘ones.

Those choices are making this project harder or easier to realize? puree de legume

The choice of making everything homemade, yes, many people tell me that it will make things harder, and be more expensive too but I want it to be my trademark.

What is your target audience?

For private individuals, the 25-35 year old, in couple or single without child,self employed or executive, students. In B2B, we are targeting the service companies of Aix en Provence, in particular all the legal firms that are numerous here, administrations…approximately 80 000 people.

What will be your communication strategy ?

For private individuals, we will launch a communication campaign using flyering and billposting. I have a blog (http://brunchmeup.fr/blog/) and partnership with other blogs.

I also intend to organize treasure hunt with fashcode which bring to my website. Regarding BEB, i twill imply door to door selling in order to get regular contracts.cake sale

Have you heard before about the 2015 Universal Exposition ?

Not before you evoked it.

According to you, what are the main messages that can mobilize young on the sustainable nutrition issues?

One good idea would be to communicate on the price of fruits and vegetable, underlining that buying good and fresh seasonal products is the same price than going to the supermarket. Even if prepared products can sometime appear less expensive, at the end their quality and quantity decrease cooking them.

Thank you so much Matthias for having answering our questions, we wish you good luck with brunch me up!

Juliette

Image Juliette

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