Eric Vannier

Eric Vannier the entrepreneur

eric-vannier-entrepreneur-mere-poulardEric Vannier belongs to the French entrepreneurs that constructed their companies by valorizing and exporting the traditions, know-how and the image of France. An entrepreneur at heart, he is president of the group La Mère Poulard, which he developed in France and abroad and which he diversified over the years the sectors of tourism, food industry, restaurant franchises and product licenses. La Mère Poulard is now the leading company in Mont St-Michel and one of the dynamic companies in West France. The brand La Mère Poulard is present in the entirety of the French distribution and is exported to 70 countries in the world.

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Eric Vannier begins his professional life in 1974 as his grandparents bequeathed him a historic museum in Mont St-Michel. It was from this small company that he slowly began to found and develop La Mère Poulard that possesses now around thirty establishments: hotels, restaurants, cafés, shops and museums in Mont St-Michel.

In 1986 he was the acquirer of the famous Hostel of La Mère Poulard that perpetuates still today the principles of its founding mother. Since its creation, the Hostel of La Mère Poulard received millions of customers and more than 3500 personalities of the political, cultural, and entertainment world.

In 1998, he diversified the group activities in the sector of food industry and founds the biscuit factory La Mère Poulard. With the respect of the tradition and authenticity of the original recipes of the famous cook of Mont St-Michel, the biscuits of La Mère Poulard are now present in 10 000 stores.

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In 2008, he founds the La Mère Poulard café. Through an ornamental and culinary concept that revisits the image of the Mont St-Michel and the recipes of Annette Poulard, Eric Vannier has founded the first establishment that combines modernity and tradition in Mont St-Michel.

From 2011, the first franchises of restaurants and cafés La Mère Poulard open in Asia (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China …) and new projects are underway on other continents.

The development of product licenses under the brand La Mère Poulard completes this international strategy.

Multisectoral activities and common values for a group synergy

Eric Vannier organizes the group La Mère Poulard around three activity sectors, that each is equally important to its overall success. They are complementary and support each other in order to maximize the global potential of the brand.

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The touristic activites with hotels, restaurants, cafés, shops and museums; the biscuit factory La Mère Poulard through biscuits and a variation of traditional French gourmet products; restaurant franchises and product licenses capitalize on the image of France, the history of Mont St-Michel and the reputation of the Hostel La Mère Poulard and the know-how of Annette Poulard. From these three entities rich in meaning and values, the group draws a traditional heritage that is the DNA of the brand and at the same time its principal differentiator on the French and international market.

The secrets of success

The first secret of success of the group La Mère Poulard is originality and simplicity. This is evidenced the unparalleled success of the omelet cooked on wood fire, that put aside its extraordinary and absolutely unique history, represents nowadays an institution. Whether salty or sweet, the visitors are thousands each year to enjoy this recipe that respects the preparation and cooking invented by La Mère Poulard.

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This is how, under the leadership of Eric Vannier, the Hostel La Mère Poulard has perpetuated the expertise of the famous cook of Mont St-Michel. With culinary specialties combining simplicity, quality ingredients and creation, the restaurant becomes the ambassador and successor of the exceptional career of La Mère Poulard, that spent more than 50 years behind the stoves and that created more than 700 traditional gourmet recipes. Open to the visitors since 1888, the Hostel of La Mère Poulard is today one of the most famous restaurants in the world.

This philosophy is also at the heart of the hotel business which transmits the tradition of the millennial hospitality of Mont-Saint-Michel. Since the Middle Ages, the site welcomed the pilgrims with food and housing. This traditional universe is perceptible even in the interior of the historic buildings and establishments that reflect the charm of the old houses and associate them with contemporary comfort.

The second secret of success of the brand is the team of La Mère Poulard. The group firmly believes in its employees, because they are the ones that make the difference. Excellent training and professionalism are the watchwords, till in the restaurants and cafés that the group opened in Asia. In these establishments that convey with them the image of France, of the Normandie and of Mont St-Michel, the group La Mère Poulard implements training to make from its foreign partners effective experts and professionals in the gastronomy, the tradition and the values of La Mère Poulard and of the French lifestyle.

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The establishments of the group La Mère Poulard, leaders in Mont-Saint-Michel

As a lover of Mont St-Michel, Eric Vannier has always wished that a stay or a visit to Mont St Michel becomes a unique and rich experience for visitors. With the diversified offer of his restaurants and his cafés in Mont St-Michel, the president of La Mère Poulard completes the cultural, historical and spiritual aspect of Mont St Michel by a culinary dimension. The objective of the president of the group La Mère Poulard is to allow each traveler to discover the gastronomic traditions, of which the Hostel of La Mère Poulard is the ambassador. Historical and prestigious, the Hostel La Mère Poulard offers to enjoy the tasteful and traditional omelet of the Mont-Saint-Michel.

Prepared with selected ingredients, prepared with selected ingredients, beaten in rhythm with a big whip and cooked over a wood fire in front of the visitors, it is the center of all attractions. The context of the hostel is as exceptional as the place where it is. The decoration is refined, but especially the restaurant reveals the original rock of Mont Saint Michel. In her time, Annette Poulard used to cook for pilgrims and personalities from the whole world, a till our days perpetuated tradition, where La Mère Poulard remains a preferred hub for gourmets and celebrities.

Today, eating at the Mont St-Michel is primarily to rediscover the traditional French and Norman cuisine with specialties proper to the rock as the omelet cooked on wood fire of La Mère Poulard or also the Salt meadow lamb.

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Eric Vannier is equally at the initiative of the Café La Mère Poulard. This unique establishment in the Mont St-Michel revisits the traditional specialties of La Mère Poulard in a contemporary setting. Thanks to its traditional and friendly concept at Mont Saint Michel, La Mère Poulard addresses a broader audience, combining good taste and affordable prices, while maintaining the culinary tradition, rules of hospitality and expertise of La Mère Poulard.

The touristic activity of La Mère Poulard is complemented by an intramural and extramural hotel park. The hotels offer to the visitors, who wish to have a stay at Mont St-Michel an experience unique in the world, sublimated at nightfall. Emptied of tourists, the rock finds its calm and serenity; the streets, the Abbey and the village then illuminated by spectacular illuminations offer a journey through time and imagination.

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The biscuit factory La Mère Poulard

The history of The biscuit factory is related to that of the Mont St Michel and to one of its most emblematic symbols, La Mère Poulard. She used to prepare declicious biscuits and especially the famous galette, that she used to distribute to children and pilgrims. For over a century, the production of biscuits was limited to the Hostel La Mère Poulard and at the Mont St-Michel.

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It was in 1998 that Eric Vannier founded the biscuit factory La Mère Poulard in order to complement the strategy of the group by a food industry activity and to promote the know-how that was born in Mont St-Michel. In a food market where the brands are competing about inventions and modernization, Eric Vannier has bet on authenticity both in traditional recipes as in packaging reminiscent of the roots and the world of The Biscuit.

Cakes, biscuits, shuffleboard, and cookies are sold in cases, bags and pockets in the famous collector metal boxes. Manufactured in the production workshops in Saint-Étienne-en-Coglès in Brittany, 25 kilometers from Mont Saint-Michel, the biscuits are sold in 10,000 outlets in France in hypermarkets, (Monoprix, Carrefour, Casino, Auchan, Cora, Leclerc, Intermarché, Système U), supermarkets and minimarkets, the big stores, (Galeries Lafayette, Le Bon Marché), the six shops La Mère Poulard, the oil retail network (Total, Shell, Esso), the aircraft of Air France, on online sales sites, etc…

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The offer of the biscuit factory is complemented by a range of sweet and salty products and by product licenses of La Mère Poulard.

All products of the biscuit factory La Mère Poulard is now exported to over 70 foreign countries.

The international development today and tomorrow

An ambitious plan of international expansion is born from the will of Eric Vannier to strongly develop the group in foreign markets while promoting and valorising the Mont Saint Michel and the French culture. The group relies on its restaurants that offer a showcase of French cuisine in that it has better. It also leverages its cafes that are the backup of restaurants in order to reach a wider audience. Through these strategic directions, Eric Vannier aims to make the group La Mère Poulard an example of French international success.

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With many partnerships abroad, Éric Vannier enabled the group La Mère Poulard to start its first franchises in Asia. The first restaurants open in Japan know a great success and a plan for opening further 30 restaurants, 120 cafés is on work for the next years. In Taiwan, where the two first cafés were opened in Taipei, the group wishes to start 5 restaurants and about 30 cafés. In Korea, the opening of the first restaurant La Mère Poulard in 2014 will be followed by 35 restaurants and 80 cafés in the coming years.

From 2014 to 2018, La Mère Poulard will develop furthermore in China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, in the Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Russia, the United States, Canada and Mexico.

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