An estimated 212 lbs of mushrooms are produced each second worldwide. Of this number, 35% comes from Europe. Moreover, 70% of the so-called portobello mushrooms are still produced in China. It is in this context that Emmanuelle Roze launched a sector of fresh mushrooms “made in France”: Légulice, known for its brand Lou.
After meeting her husband when they both worked at France Champignon, they decided, in 2009, to create Légulice and the Lou brand. The couple first thought of marketing mushrooms from the Netherlands and Poland, but they quickly opted for “made in France”. Thanks to the help of local organizations, the two associates, joined by Fabrice Chapuzet, one of Emmanuelle Roze’s brothers, have been investing more than 8 million euros [8.98 million USD] in their production tool in Poilley, which has been operational for four years.
In 2018, the company achieved a revenue of 30 million euros [34 million USD], in growth of 40%. But because of the yellow vests movement, this Breton entrepreneur almost lost everything: 10 tons of the mushrooms harvested on her farm in Ille-et-Vilaine could not get to the supermarkets due to roadblocks. “To avoid having to throw them all away, I offered to people, via social networks, to come and get them for free,” explains Emmanuelle Roze.
Luckily, the company is enjoying better days. Roze is currently working on the creation of a second mushroom farm, this time in the Loire Valley. “In the medium term, we will need four farms to have France covered. The product is fragile and often only keeps for a few days. We have to be near the stores.”
The company currently counts 150 employees.