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Laurent Vichard, Potager City

“With 15 stores by December, we are looking for local suppliers”

"There is a real expectation on the part of consumers in major French cities when it comes to local commerce, with a focus on service and quality," explains Laurent Vichard, director of Potager City. The startup, initially specialized in the production of fruit and vegetable baskets, recently launched 4 stores in the heart of Paris, with a plan of 15 stores by the end of the year. With a 60% fruit and vegetable base and 40% fresh groceries, Potager City positions itself as a "seller of quality local products, aiming at reasonable prices."

"Good produce hunters" committed to better remuneration for farmers
Potager City's daily objective is to offer consumers 100% French taste whenever possible, as close as possible, while guaranteeing better remuneration for the farmers, even if it means taking risks. "We only import to help launch the French season. As soon as the French products are available, we stop selling the imported ones. If the quality of the French product does not meet the required standard, we then wait until this is the case before marketing it, without reverting to the import product. Conversely, if the French product is excellent right from the start of the season, then we do not hesitate to offer it to our clients, even if the prices are high."

Excellent quality for Cavaillon melons at the start of the season
This year, the quality of the first Cavaillon melons, which arrived two weeks ago, is excellent. "The campaign began with very high sugar levels, close to 16 degrees Brix. We decided to pass on the benefits of this high-quality product to our clients and growers alike, with a remuneration adapted to a good product at the start of the campaign. Our configuration allows producers to have a promise of remuneration. Offering a melon at 7 euros [7.6 USD] a piece at the start of the season is a challenge, but it can be met by good communication with clients. We make a point of raising consumer awareness, explaining the aim of our approach and reassuring them that prices will fall rapidly. We try to be both commercial and pragmatic, and we are convinced that physical contact and local trade are the best way to get a message across. We realize that transparency is appreciated by both our producers and our clients."

Within a week, Potager City will begin its French stone fruit campaign. "We are going to start with French peaches and nectarines, and we are looking for more and more suppliers. We are constantly working on all aspects of sourcing, always as close to home as possible. In the case of apricots, we have deliberately delayed our entry into the campaign, as the early apricot varieties do not meet our expectations in terms of taste."

For more information:
Laurent Vichard
Potager City
[email protected]

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