Founder of Terroirs Insolites Michel Abboud lives by the mantra: “If you want it, work for it.” Here, he shares his passion for bringing a taste of Lebanon to France.
What can you tell us about the inspiration behind Terroirs Insolites?
Terroirs Insolites specializes in importing from Lebanon and distributing in France a selection of épicerie fine, alcoholic beverages, designer tableware and culinary books. The inspiration behind creating Terroirs Insolites is driven by the vibrance of Beirut that nourishes the imagination of many.
As associates, David Clement and I are motivated to represent in France the women and men who have chosen to elevate the craftsmanship of “Made in Lebanon.” We aim to contribute to the preservation of the cultural, creative and culinary heritage in both urban and rural areas across the country.
Could you describe the selection process for the products and artisans that Terroirs Insolites represents?
In line with the principles of social responsibility and business ethics, our main criterion for selecting partners is their alignment with our vision. We are particularly drawn to small-scale business owners who prioritize investing in the branding and the identity of their products, maintaining optimal quality, and have compelling stories to share. These entrepreneurs are true artisans, passionately crafting their businesses from the heart. They possess the courage to expand their expertise internationally and enhance the reputation of Lebanese products in France. Moreover, they consistently and ethically aspire to long-term growth.
What are some of the challenges you have encountered in building and operating Terroirs Insolites?
Our challenges have been minor compared to the challenges that our chosen partners have encountered locally since we launched our concept in 2022.
Since day one, we knew which business model we wanted. We consider ourselves privileged to have made it possible by gathering the right partners and acquiring the necessary facilities and services that enable us to stay aligned with our vision and goals.
We overcame all challenges with patience, clarity and determination.
How do you see Terroirs Insolites evolving and adapting to the changing market trends and customer demands in the future?
Terroirs Insolites is a new company that is forging its unique competitive advantage. We exclusively carry brands that cater to the niche segment demand in France. Our clientele consists of retailers who attract customers with a nostalgic or curious interest in high-end quality products made in Lebanon. These discerning customers value the overall experience that accompanies the promise of our products, placing importance on factors beyond just the price.
In the short and mid-term, we have identified three areas of focus:
- Expand our network of sales points to enhance the reputation we aim to build for our brands.
- Diversify our product offerings to meet a broader range of customer preferences.
- Create an immersive experience for our retailers by organizing private visits to Lebanon, allowing them to personally meet our artisans.