Our History

The origins


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’


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.


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.

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

The awakening & innovation


The first ready to eat tinned meals

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


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.


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.

Oies bassine

Multichannel retailing and exporting further afield


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.


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.


… 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


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.


Microwavable dishes

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


1st website and online shopping

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


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.


… 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.


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


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.


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.


Delicatessen range

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


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.


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.

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.