Our History

The origins
1908/1933

1908

Comtesse du Barry : The origins


The firm was created in 1908 in a pleasant little Gascony village called Gimont, when Joseph and Gabrielle Dubarry, respectively tinsmith and pork butcher, moved into Number 6 Place de la Vieille Halle where they decided they wanted to be the makers of ‘the best foie gras in the whole wide world’

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1926

Fairs & trade shows


By 1926 the firm was renowned throughout the Gers area. Just after the war the couple expanded their activity but were afraid of losing their direct contact with the clientele, so to keep up in touch with their customers they chose to tour national and international shows and trade fairs and filed to register their trademark : Comtesse du Barry.

1935

A sensational entrance into mail order


In 1935 Yvette du Barry got married to Henri Lacroix, the latter accomplished an amazing feat. He was the first  ‘ foie gras ‘ producer to sell through mail order which was an immediate success. Thus he successfully modernized the firm’s channels of distribution while maintaining its original mindset.

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During the second World War the name Comtesse du Barry remained closely linked to the idea of enjoying gourmet food, the gourmet  treat sent to the soldier on the front was the one he also enjoyed on his homecoming.

The Comtesse at War
1939/1945

The awakening & innovation
1949/1974

1949

The first ready to eat tinned meals


Yvette Lacroix-Dubarrys’ first fine ready to eat canned meals appeared on the scene.

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1954

The year they invented the ‘block of foie gras’


In 1954 Henri Lacroix found an ingenious revolutionary way to make blocks of foie gras ; the same method still being used today. It boosted the sales of duck foie gras which was rarer than goose foie gras at the time. In fact duck foie gras had previously been enjoyed only by real gourmets or eaten within the family circle because without Henri Lacroix’s method, it exuded too much fat when cooking.

1964

Breast of duck


In 1964 with the kind cooperation of one of the region’s most renowned chefs André Daguin, Philippe and Henri Lacroix revealed the many ways of cooking and enjoying breast of duck previously eaten only by purveyors of foie gras. Thanks to this gastronomic event, breast of duck really took off and so did duck breeding, especially in the South Wesnt. This new generation of produce raised the company to a level at which it could start trading internationally.

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Multichannel retailing and exporting further afield
1970/1980
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1974

The first retail outlets


Due to the Great Post Office strike in 1974 and Comtesse du Barry opened its first boutiques they were, as they still are now, welcoming, spotless, housing a treasure trove of gourmet fare.

1982

Conquering the States…..


Comtesse du Barry’s duck pâté with green peppercorns won the best gastronomic product imported into the USA by the USA award.

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1985

… and all the ports of Europe.


Comtesse du Barry opened two restaurants-tasting rooms one in Rue Taibout Paris and one in Angers.

During the Europe Boat Race Loick Peyron took Comtesse du Barry products on board his Formula three Lada Poch catamaran.

Into Space, onto the Net and sails the Ocean wide.
The 90’s

1988

The Great Space dishes


1988 saw the creation of the Great Space dishes. The French space agency the CNES chose the Comtesse’s dishes to feed the astronauts during the Franco – Russian space flight Aragats.

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1995

Microwavable dishes


In 1995 the Comtesse created her first easy to open microwavable range.

1996

1st website and online shopping


In 1996 Comtesse du Barry was the 1st gastronomic fare company to sell its products online.

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1997

The Comtesse goes back into Space and sails the seas again…


In May 1997 The French astronaut Jean François Clervoy took Comtesse du Barry’s dishes on board his Atlantis shuttle mission.

In June the same year Olivier de Kersauson took hundreds of Comtesse du Barry products on board his trimaran and went on to beat the world record for a crewed around the world voyage.

1998

… and again


At the ripe old age of 90 the Comtesse raced the ‘Route du Rhum’ on monohulls and multihulls with Catherine Chabaud, Mike Birch et Philippe Monet.

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1999

Discovery and gastronomy


In 1999 Jean Francois Clervoy came back for more and took a Comtesse du Barry selection on board the Discoveryspace shuttle as a change, for the crew, from their everyday food.

A new vision of gastronomy
The 2000’s

2000

Lighter gourmet dishes appear


Traditional cooking plus healthy eating equal a need for ‘Lighter traditional dishes’

In 2000 Comtesse du Barry created a line of 24 ready to eat, long life, low calorie dishes including Le Cassoulight; the range contains a variety of dishes from soups to starters through to meat and fish main courses, not forgetting desserts.

Luc Bramel joined the family firm.

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2001

New more user friendly packaging


In 2001 the first foie gras in moulded trays was marketed, allowing easier unmolding and slicing, hence a more attractive presentation.

2002

Delicatessen range


In 2002 the first delicatessen range of refined fish and poultry … based starters was launched…

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2006

The third concept boutique


In 2006 Luc Bramel, member of the family firm’s 4th generation, was named Managing Director and introduced the shop in a new shop concept.

2010

The Gers, the home of gastronomy


In 2010 French gastronomy was listed as part of UNESCO’s World Heritage, this reinforced the century old Comtesse du Barry brand’s ongoing commitment to quality.

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The dawning of a new age
From 2010 to the present day
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2011

Cooperative spirit


The French cooperative group Maïsadour acquired the family firm.

The synergy within the group allowed the brand to expand by adding smoked salmon and Aquitaine Caviar to its offer.

In December of the same year Comtesse du Barry’s whole foie gras was at the head of the ‘60 miliions de consommateurs’ magazine’s ranking.

2012

Innovation and creativity rewarded


Our packaging evolved especially in the domain of foie gras

The SIAL rewarded the Comtesse for its innovation in two products: Xocolati:  duck foie gras with cocoa and hazelnut nibs and Ibérique : duck foie gras with Serrano ham and balsamic vinegar.

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2013

The Comtesse’s  Delicacies


In November 2013 Jérôme Fourest formerly with l’Atelier des Chefs and la Maison du Whisky became head of the company.

Comtesse du Barry’s delicacies appeared on television.

2014

The 5th concept boutique


The century old brand rolled out a new company strategy built around four core values : love of the land and tradition, gastronomy, the South West and aristocracy and its flagship products  : foie gras, caviar, salmon and truffles. Boutiques created around ‘a new universe just waiting to be explored and discoveries just waiting to be made’ concept, have been deployed in 4 cities.

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2015

The Comtesse is present worldwide


The brand is now well present in airports, in les Galeries Lafayette Gourmet, in Monoprix outlets… and aspires to redeploy itself both nationally and internationally by the means of shops in shops, opening franchises and developing sales overseas, It determined to become  ‘the’ image of modern French luxury food.
The company awarded the prize Janus du Commerce 2015 for this work on the new concept, according to the criteria of the “5 E”: Economy, Ergonomics, Aesthetics, Ethics and Emotion.