Birth of the House
It was in the pleasant Gascon village of Gimont, at 6 Place de la vieille Halle, that Joseph and Gabrielle Dubarry settled. He was a master tinsmith, she a pork butcher, and they decided to make "the best foie gras in the world".
Renowned throughout the department. At the end of the war, they extend their activity but they insist on direct contact with the customers: they choose the circuit of national and international fairs and register the Comtesse du Barry trademark.
Entering the mail order business
Marriage of Yvette Dubarry with Henry Lacroix, who succeeds in a tour de force: modernising distribution without changing the spirit: he sells by mail order, a first in foie gras, an immediate success.
Yvette Lacroix-Dubarry offers the first canned fine meals.
The invention of the block of foie gras
Henri Lacroix develops his process for making blocks of foie gras. This revolutionary recipe has remained unchanged since then. This technique revived duck foie gras, until then only appreciated by gourmets and reserved for family consumption (rarer than goose at the time), because it exuded too much fat during cooking.
With the friendly cooperation of André Daguin, one of the most renowned chefs of the region, Philippe and Francis Lacroix reveal the art of tasting duck breasts which, in the past, were only appreciated by foie gras merchants. This gastronomic event has enabled duck breeding to take off in France, and particularly in the South-West, in the boom it is experiencing. This new generation is leading the company to a level that allows it to trade internationally.
The first shops
Great strike of the PTT, they created the Comtesse du Barry shops: warm, impeccable, "true showcases of gastronomy".
The conquest of the United States...
The duck pâté with green pepper was awarded the prize for the best gastronomic product imported by the United States.
... and all the ports of Europe
Opening of a restaurant-tasting in rue Taibout in Paris and in Angers. Loïck Peyron, aboard his Formula 3 Lada Poch, runs the Course de l'Europe with Comtesse du Barry products.
Big dishes in space
Realization of the "great little dishes of space". The CNES selects them to feed the cosmonauts during the Franco-Soviet Aragats flight.
New consumer habits
The individual dishes are eaten at home, but also at the customer's workplace: to meet their needs, Comtesse du Barry R&D creates the first easy-opening microwaveable dishes.
Home Sales is developing with e-commerce
Comtesse du Barry is the first gastronomic company in the South-West to offer its products for sale via e-commerce.
Gastronomic world tour
In May, French astronaut Jean-François Clervoy takes on board Comtesse du Barry products during his mission aboard the shuttle Atlantis.
In June of the same year, Olivier de Kersauzon took hundreds of Comtesse du Barry products on board his trimaran and set a new round-the-world crewed record.
The Route du Rhum
90 years old. Comtesse runs the Route du Rhum aboard monohulls and multihulls, with Catherine Chabaud, Mike Birch and Philippe Monet.
French gastronomy on board Discovery
Jean-François Clervoy is once again taking a Countess selection on board the Discovery shuttle to improve the ordinary diet of the crew.
Terroir & dietetics
"Lightness in addition", when local cuisine rhymes with dietetics, Comtesse has created a range of 24 ready-made dishes (including Le Cassoulight) composed of soups, meat, fish and dessert starters, "appertised" and stamped "light line". Luc Bramel joins the family company.
Innovation packaging & art de la table
Launch of the first foies gras in trays, which are easier to remove from the mould and are presented in regular slices.
A new catering range
Launch of the first Catering line, refined starters based on poultry, fish...
The 4th generation Comtesse du Barry
Luc Bramel, 4th generation, is appointed Managing Director and initiates a third boutique concept.
The French gastronomic meal
French gastronomy listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, confirming the quality commitment of Comtesse du Barry, a century-old brand.
The synergy of a cooperative group
The Maïsadour cooperative group Maïsadour buys the family company.
The brand develops on smoked salmon and Aquitaine caviar by relying on group synergy. In December, Comtesse du Barry's whole duck foie gras comes top of the ranking presented by the magazine 60 million consumers.
The packaging is evolving, particularly on the range of foie gras.
The SIAL rewards the Countess for two innovations: Xocolati of duck foie gras with cocoa and hazelnut gruel and Iberian duck foie gras with Serrano ham and balsamic.
New management, new challenges
In November, Jérôme Fourest, who comes from L'Atelier des Chefs and the Maison du Whisky, took over at the head of the company at the age of 35. The delights of Comtesse du Barry are shown on television.
A strong identity: the terroir of South-West France
Deployment of a new strategy for the century-old brand around four strong values: terroir, gastronomy, south-western and aristocratic, and emblematic products: foie gras, caviar, smoked salmon and truffles. A fifth boutique concept, a universe inviting discovery, is deployed in 4 cities.
The gastronomic gift & international
The brand now has a strong presence in airports, Galeries Lafayette Gourmet and Monoprix... It aims to redeploy in France and abroad, through corners, franchises and exports, to embody this new French-style mouth-watering luxury and become the benchmark for gastronomic gifts.
It was awarded the Janus du Commerce 2015 prize for this work on the new concept, according to the "5 E" criteria: Economy, Ergonomics, Aesthetics, Ethics and Emotion.
Comtesse du Barry continues her adventure in space
French astronaut Jean-François Clervoy has been carrying Comtesse du Barry products for almost 20 years already during his mission aboard the shuttle Atlantis. In 2016, Comtesse du Barry will return to this starry past by partnering with the Cité de l'espace in Toulouse for the launch of the "Astronauts" exhibition.A beautiful tribute to these men who used to wake up by tasting his food. No need to take the moon out of the sky, sometimes all you need is beautiful, divine and accessible dishes to please.
A Countess in the Louvre
Since February 2017 Comtesse du Barry has her address in the Carrousel du Louvre, more precisely at 99 rue de Rivoli. Comtesse's lively and audacious gastronomy, coming from the heart of the South-West, can be found in the heart of the capital in a place that reflects excellence and the French art of living.
Comtesse celebrates its 110th birthday
On this occasion, the House raises the curtain on many gourmet innovations, and unveils a new foie gras in homage to Gabrielle Dubarry who dreamed of making the "Best Foie Gras in the World".