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Meet Maxime Pouvreau, a former Michelin-starred pastry chef now based in San Francisco and founder of Petit Pot, a mouth-watering brand of French desserts!
I first heard about Maxime while listening to one of my favourite podcasts, “The Pitch”, in which real entrepreneurs pitch to a live panel of investors in the hope of raising venture capital. I loved his story and wanted to invite him on French Voices!
We’ll start the discussion with a linguistic note about the use of the “tu” and “vous” forms. Maxime will then tell us about his French homeland and career history, which led him to work in many countries and luxurious restaurants and eventually settle in San Francisco. There, in the US, this Frenchman was terribly missing the French style desserts you can find at any supermarket in France (I so miss them too!!) and decided to use his culinary skills to fill this whole in the market. We’ll compare what types of desserts you can find in the aisles of American and French supermarket and you may learn one thing or two about when we typically have these creamy desserts in France!
About Petit Pot: Find out which flavours are currently available, what ingredients they are made of and which substitutes are being used in the vegan versions! Petit Pots desserts are sold in glass jars which, as Maxime will explain, is both a reference to French culture and a token of quality.
On the business development side, you’ll learn which important change Petit Pot has adjusted to over the past few years. Maxime will also share how he started producing the range and how they’ve grown and needed to scale the business. What are the future projects and dessert ideas for Petit Pot? Does Maxime now want to go back to hand-crafted patisseries or is he happy as an entrepreneur? And, very importantly, where to find the closest store selling Petit Pot if you live in the US? Listen to find out!!
apprentissage (nm) = apprenticeship, learning
bas de gamme = bottom of the range, lower end
brevet (nm) = qualification, certificate
étoilé.e = _starred
faire d’une pierre deux coups = to kill two birds with one stone
fournir = to supply
gage de qualité (nm) = quality guarantee, quality insurance, token of quality
glacière (nf) = ice box, esky
investisseur = investor
livrer = to deliver (a good)
palais (nm) = palate; taste
parcours (nm) = career history, experience
parfum (nm) = flavour
pâte (nf) = batter, dough
pâtissier (nm) = pastry chef
peaufiner = to refine, perfect, polish ; to put the finishing touches
personnel (nm) = staff
petit suisse (nm) = petit suisse, fromage frais
produit laitier (nm) = dairy
récupérer = to get (sth) back; to recover, to retrieve
règle d’or (nf) = golden rule
retombée (nf) = repercussion, consequence, fallout
retracer = to recount, to tell
riz au lait (nm) = rice pudding
usine (nf) = factory
- When do you typically eat une crème dessert in France?
- What change has Petit Pot needed to adapt to over the past 5 years?
- At the time of recording, how many US stores were selling Petit Pot?
- You eat it everyday for dessert: after lunch, after dinner….and sometimes for a snack too!
- The size of the portions has decreased (from 120g to 85-90g).
- 300 stores
Links & Resources
- Episode of The Pitch featuring Maxime: look for episode 35 in your Podcast App or https://www.gimletmedia.com/the-pitch/petit-pot-the-proof-is-in-the-pudding-35
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