THE FAMILY

If you want to get to know À la Mère de Famille, all you need to do is ask.
For that, Étienne, Sophie, Jane, Jonathan et Steve were sweet enought to answer a few questions.

THE FAMILY'S KIDS

She's the eldest child.
Born in 1974, she's been in charge of developing packaging and running the stores and the staff for nearly 20 years.

Working with the family members - a piece of cake ?
Actually, yes: we can not get mad at each other, and even if it happens, it doesn't last long

Who is playing the wise guy ?
I am, in a clumsy way; and so is Steve, in a more subtle way.

Who's tough on the inside, and soft on the ouside ?
Steve, Jonathan and Etienne! But that's because they are really good at sugarcoating things.

Who's got the best palate ?
Hands-down Jean-Marc, our head chocolatier. He operates in our Chambray-lès-Tours factory. He will never release a product that doesn't meet his oustanding quality standards. He is everywhere and he keeps an eye on everything. He is incredibly consistent, which is an art in our line of work. We want to offer outstanding products that always taste the same.

Who's the sweetest ?
Still not me ! Most likely Jane, but we are all a bit headstrong in our family.

Who's the best ?
We all are: there is no question about that! What makes the difference is how long we have been doing this. I was 21 when we took over the Faubourg Montmartre store with my father. It was sometimes difficult for me to assert myself, because I knew very little about the job. Steve joined us later on, followed by Jane and Jonathan. Since then, we have proven urselves, acquired skills and knowledge, and now wedon't hesitate to speak up when necessary, particularly the older ones. Although I have to say my younger siblings don't hesitate to challenge the status quo!

Who likes chocolate truffles ?
Which ones ? There are so many varieties in our stores, they are one of our family's specialites.

Three words to describe A la Mère de Famille:
Tradition, originality, quality.

She joined her father and siblings seven years ago.
Born in 1983, she's in charge of corporate accounts. She also works with Sophie on packaging.

Working with the family members - a piece of cake ?
I think so. I like to get along with everyone, and I dislike conflict. For others family members, it is more complicated!

Who is playing the wise guy ?
Jonathan! He's the least experienced of us all, but he is often the one who knows the most!

Who's tough on the inside, and soft on the ouside ?
I would say Sophie's the toughest, but I think underneath the surface we're all pretty sweet. We love tasting things. After all, it is our job!

Who's got the best palate ?
Sophie. She gives the hardest critiques, especially on the candied chestnuts recipe. If we have a disagreement about taste, she will be the one who will get the final say.

Who's the sweetest ?
Me!

Who's the best ?
Dad is, of course, especially in the way he runs things around here.
But I have to say I am pretty impressed with Steve's work on communication and branding. He has got so much imagination and creativity. I was in awe of his pop-up book, "If Paris Were a Cake..." is so brilliant you just want to read it cover to cover! He is awesome.

Who likes chocolate truffles ?
Everyone does!

Three words to describe A la Mère de Famille:
Delicacy, authencity and quality.

Born in 1986, Jonathan is the youngest in the family. He joined the business in 2012.
He manages production with Etienne and works with him on management control.

Working with the family members - a piece of cake ?
Well, I guess, but it is no walk in the park either! Working with your brothers and sisters is very sweet, 95% of the time, but sometimes too much sweetness can be unpalatable!

Who is playing the wise guy ?
Steve! Weel, Etienne is, actually, but that's beacause he is delightful, plump and sweet, just like cake! He is our beacon of light. We all love to gather around him and share his experience and knowledge, just like we would share a nice cake.

Who's tough on the inside, and soft on the ouside ?
We all love tasting our products, so we try to get some exercise oncein a while so we don't get too soft around the waistline, if you see what I mean.

Who's got the best palate ?
Sophie, of course, but Steve's is pretty good, too. He is the one who designed our selection of ice cream, based on fresh fruits. All our products are very carefully crafted. When we make vanilla ganache, for example, we use fresh cream, which we infuse with hand-grated vanilla beans.

Who's the sweetest ?
Jane, hands down. Even though Sophie's attention to detail has rubbed off on her!

Who's the best ?
That depends, but I believe we all are, in our respective fields. We are all very complementary. We make our way one day at a time. I could not do what Steve does with communication, or what Jane does with packaging, for example. By the same token, they would have trouble doing what I do!

Who likes chocolate truffles ?
The question should be "when do we like chocolate truffles?". And the answer is "All the time". One would think that, after working in this business for fifteen years, Sophie, Steve or Etienne have grown tired of them. But not at all, far from it! For my part, I loved our chocolate Easter eggs so much that I gave them a rounder hape, so I can enjoy them at Christmas too!

Three words to describe A la Mère de Famille:
Authenticity, quality, history

Second-born child.
Born in 1976, Steve joined the family business in 2000.
He's in charge of communication, artistic direction and brand development.rn

Working with the family members - a piece of cake ?
Yeah, it is great. Seeing the family business prosper is just the icing on the cake.

Who is playing the wise guy ?
Aside from Jonathan ? I'd say Sophie, especially because she made us work on the chocolate cake recipe for 15 years (and believe me, she tasted quite a few in the process!).
During meetings, Jonathan loves to play the devil's advocate, even when he doesn't need to. Some pretty goods ideas still come out in the end. He may be young, but he is actually pretty good (please don't tell him I said that).

Who's tough on the inside, and soft on the ouside ?
Sophie or Jonathan. They are the only ones who exercise pretty regularly! jonathan likes boxing and Sophie loves horse riding: if she could ride a horse to work, she would !

Who's got the best palate ?
We each have different palats. Mine is the most snobby, while Sophie is the most selective. She's very thorough in her work: she won't validate a product until she's completely satisfied with it. The confectioner who makes oou candied chestnuts worked for four years to earn her approval. Once he fund the final recipe, we got the award for best candied chestnuts in Paris.

Who's the sweetest ?
We all are. The great thing about working with family members is that here is no hierarchy, no promotions, so the ego doesn't come into play. There's no need for low blows or scheming. And everyone is eager to lend a helping hand! Around Christmas or Easter, we're all in th store, gift-wrapping or something.
I turn into a delivery boy on my scooter, while Jonathan gets in his car and restocks all our stores. Everyone is really sweet. Even Sophie.

Who's the best ?
I am, of course! Weel actually, Etienne is. All that we are able to do today, we owe it to him. Either because he passed his working methods on to us, or because we each found ways to work around them (him)! What he also passed on to us was his love of confectionry and chocolate. We grew up in sugarland: at home, there were always tons of handcrafted candy.

Who likes chocolate truffles ?
Jonathan, especially when they've got bite.

Three words to describe A la Mère de Famille:
Legacy, family, quality.

THE FAMILY'S PATRIARCH

ÉTIENNE DOLFI

THE FAMILY'S PATRIARCH

What if À la Mère de Famille today were now a father's business?
Etienne is the family's patriarch. He has got a great team spirit. He grew up in alsace, in the East of France, a place infused with the smell of boiling sugar. He always had a passion for the world of confectionnery and chocolate, so he first became a supplier to the company, before taking over with his children and passing on his expertise. He is now, with them, in charge of the production and the administration.

Three words to describe A la Mère de Famille:
Calissons, Pommes Candies and Grignotines.
(That was in fact four words: Etienne is also a bit of a rebel!)