As a politician and entrepreneur, Éric Vannier played a considerable role in the development and protection of Mont St-Michel and in the exportation at the international level of the image of France, the Normandy and of the Mont St-Michel. As a mayor of Mont St-Michel for 24 years and a president of the group La Mère Poulard, Éric Vannier was promoted Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature and Honorary Mayor of Mont St-Michel to award the entirety of his career serving the public interest.
Born in Paris, Éric Vannier is the elder son of a 4 children family. He spends much of his holiday in the region of Mont St-Michel, where his grandparents practiced the profession of physicians. He walks the streets and strolled in the bay, where he swam at the foot of the islet Tombelaine. From his earliest age, he will take passion for this unique place of the world.
He went to high school in Janson de Sailly and did his graduate studies at the Institute for Political Studies in Paris.
From 1983 till 2001 and then from 2008 to 2014, Éric Vannier was the mayor of Mont St-Michel. At the time of his first mandate, he was the youngest mayor in France. He was equally General Counsel of the Department of the English Channel and Regional Counsel of Basse-Normandie. During 24 years, he devoted himself to the touristic and economic development of Mont St-Michel, to the environmental preservation of this site and achieved multiple works at the service of the daily life of the dwellers of Mont St-Michel. The whole of his achievements deeply modified the image of Mont St-Michel and contributed to its promotion throughout the whole world.
Éric Vannier is one of the founding fathers of the “Restoration Project of the maritime character of Mont St-Michel”. This is the biggest environmental project in the beginning of the 21st century that enhanced the outskirts of the wonder of the occident and reinforces its spiritual, cultural and ecological character. This titanic project, that will end by 2015, will enable the Mont St-Michel to become again an island and to offer to the visitors a sublimate site, as the pilgrims of the Middle Ages used to see it from the paths of Paradise that converged here from whole Europe.
He equally modernized, reassured and dynamized Mont St-Michel through a whole series of actions both on the field of security, sanitation, promotion of heritage, reception and touristic promotion.
The registration into the UNESCO world heritage, the exchanges with the biggest spiritual and historic sites in Taishan (sacred mountain in China) and of Miyajima (sacred island in Japan), the development of the touristic promotion and communication and the “Restoration Project of the maritime character of Mont St-Michel” deeply strengthened the image and the notoriety of Mont St-Michel. This is evidenced by the development of the Japanese market moved from 5000 visitors to 400000 nowadays. The projects and initiatives carried by Éric Vannier allowed the Mont St-Michel to gain momentum among the high places of humanity. The entirety of this career serving the public interest and the revaluation of the site Mont St-Michel have earned Éric Vannier to be nominated by Jack Lang, the minister of culture, Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature, honorary mayor of the Mont St-Michel.
In parallel with his public life, Éric Vannier is a passionate and audacious entrepreneur. By taking back a commercial establishment on the Mont St-Michel bequeathed by his grandparents, he will gradually build the group La Mère Poulard, a touristic leader become leader in the Mont St-Michel. Through the years, Eric Vannier organizes the group around three activities: the tourism with the hotels, restaurants, cafés, museums, shops at the Mont St-Michel; the food industry with the biscuit factory La Mère Poulard; the development of international licenses in Asia and in the world.
In the tourism sector, La Mère Poulard comprises today some thirty establishments, under which the famous Hostel of La Mère Poulard, which received over 3500 personalities from the political, cultural and entertainment world.
In the food industry sector, Éric Vannier diversifies the group 1998 with the creation of the biscuit factory La Mère Poulard, which products are sold in the entirety of the French distribution, in the six shops of La Mère Poulard in France, in the oil retail network, in the aircraft of Air France and in the online shopping sites. Outside France, the biscuits are exported to 70 countries around the world.
In the licenses sector, he engages an ambitious plan of deployment at the international since 2012 with the establishment of franchises of La Mère Poulard. Many countries of Asia host today restaurants and cafés of the group that transmit the values of France and contribute to the radiancy of France in economy and export. Through a unique and warmhearted ambience as well as a traditional and delicious cuisine, the restaurants and cafés La Mère Poulard convey with them the image of Mont St-Michel, the tradition and the recipes of the famous cook of Mont St-Michel and the art of living of Mont St-Michel.
From 2014 to 2018, La Mère Poulard will develop in Japan, Taiwan, Korea, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, in the Arab Emirates, in Qatar, Kuwait, Luxemburg, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Russia, the United States, Canada, and Mexico.