A FAMILY VENTURE SPANNING 4 GENERATIONS OF ENTREPRENEURS
- The history of BROUSSE begins in Bordeaux almost 90 years ago... In 1934, on the banks of the Garonne River, Georges Brousse, who was then running the family business R. BROUSSE ET FILS founded in Bordeaux in 1824 and recently come to specialize in trading in fresh fruit and vegetables, decided to send his younger brother Jacques to Marseille to open a commercial branch of the firm.
- The insufficient margins generated by the Marseille branch office drove Georges to call his brother back to Bordeaux. But Jacques believed in the tremendous potential of the Mediterranean and decided to set up his own business in Marseille. He started over from scratch, launching a ripening centre for bananas, the favourite exotic fruit of the time. Then war broke out and the family moved to Masseret in the Corrèze for a while.
- On 12 June 1946, Jacques Brousse gave new impetus to his business, creating SARL JACQUES BROUSSE ET GASTON NOUHAUD with a trader from the Limousin region, to import and sell fruit and early produce. It is the real starting point of the BROUSSE VERGEZ venture…
(from left to right : Jacques Brousse - Daniel Vergez)
- In 1953, Gaston Nouhaud sold his shares to Jacques, who then asked Daniel Vergez to partner with him. On 20 November 1953, S.A. J. BROUSSE, D. VERGEZ & CIE was born, specializing in early produce trading. This gave concrete form to a beautiful friendship and deep affection that would last their whole lives.
- On 31 March 1970, Jacques Brousse retired, handing the reins over to his son André Brousse, who had joined the firm in 1951 to develop partnerships with North African planters (for citrus from Algeria and dates from Tunisia)..
- In 1979, André's second son Stephan entered the family company, creating a new business line with his friend Bernard Ordines. This was the birth of the Bakery & Pastry Canned Fruits Department and of the brand that would embody it: BROVER.
- In 1988, Stéphan Brousse was named Deputy MD of the company when it changed its name to BROUSSE VERGEZ S.A.
- On 23 January 1989, Stéphan became CEO of BROUSSE VERGEZ. His brother Franck Brousse joined the BROVER Department, which he would run for 16 years, from 1989 to 2005.
- In 2001, BROUSSE VERGEZ left the Joliette District (13002) and invested in new premises (customized new buildings and a depot) in Saint Henri (13016), to the north of Marseille, which today serve as the company's head offices.
- In 2004, the Dried Fruits Department was created, and fresh fruits and vegetables were gradually abandoned. That same year, the company received for the first time its AFAQ ISO 9001 certification in acknowledgement of the quality policy instituted by Bénédicte Lafon, Stephan's sister, who is in charge of the department.
(Photo credit NBDC)
- In parallel, Stephan became involved in employers' organizations, first in the dried fruits industry and then in multidisciplinary structures. In recognition of his strong dedication to promoting entrepreneurial values and developing his local region, he was elected President of the UPE 13 in 2005 and later President of MEDEF PACA in 2010. He was also the Special Advisor to the President of MEDEF (nationwide) on the subject of microbusinesses and SMEs.
- In December 2011, BROUSSE VERGEZ built a workshop in Marseille for the creation and manufacture of dried fruit gift boxes: BV Création.
(from left to right : Jérémy - Fabien Brousse)
- In 2012, Fabien Brousse, Stephan's second son, took over as head of the BROVER Department within which he had been developing the Export & Industry business since 2004. At the end of the year, he was joined by his older brother Jérémy Brousse who, after 10 years working in media advertising brokerages, opted in on the family venture.
- In January 2013, the company invested in leasing an additional fully equipped warehouse for BROVER products, covering more than 3,000 m² in the Arnavants District (13014).
- In May 2014, BROUSSE VERGEZ acquired the canned foods and dried fruits business from the Ile-de-France company C.I.N.R.J, further building on its position as a specialist in the canned fruit and vegetable trade. It was the starting point for external growth.
- In August 2014, BROUSSE VERGEZ took over Axe Fruit, a company based in Nantes and specializing in dried fruits for food manufacturers and more specifically in superfruits (cranberries, goji berries, chia seeds...).
- In January 2015, the Group opened a subsidiary in Germany with a couple of German associates, Eva et Patrick Stoltzenberg, to focus on the German retail market for dried fruits : Brousse GmbH.
- In April 2016, it was the takeover of the company Ambro Foods based in Courtenay (38), whose main activity was the distribution in France of candied fruit decorations and inclusions from the Italian manufacturer Ambrosio.
- In June 2016, the head office was renovated and enlarged with the addition of a new floor of 270 m² on the original building.
- In April 2017, BROUSSE VERGEZ acquired the Arguydal company based in Aubagne (13), specialist in the design and distribution of small porcelain figurines as well as accessories related to the feast of the Epiphany (crowns of kings...).
(from left to right : Stephan - Fabien - Jérémy Brousse) / Photo credit La Provence J.-L.C.
- In July 2018, Fabien BROUSSE became the new CEO of BROUSSE VERGEZ Group, associated with Jérémy and Stéphan as Deputy General Managers.
- In October 2018, the company Euro Partenaires located in La Teste-de-Buch (33) joined the Group which strengthened its offer of canned fruits and vegetables for professionals in foodservice and retail.
- In December 2018, BROUSSE VERGEZ acquired one of its export customers, “The Peanut Company” based in Amsterdam, and took position on the distribution of Mediterranean dried fruits in the Netherlands and in Belgium.
- In July 2019, BROUSSE VERGEZ, Axe Fruit and Ambro Foods obtained IFS Broker (International Featured Standards) certification.
- Between October and December 2019, BROVER celebrated its 40th anniversary with a special operation for bakers: "The Winning Birthday".
- In March 2020, BROUSSE VERGEZ continued its external development by acquiring the company Delieuze, based in Sète (34), specialized in the distribution of olives.
- In June 2020, Euro Partenaires in turn obtains IFS Broker certification.
- In November 2020, "The Peanut Company" becomes "Brousse Holland".
- In June 2022, The group expanded its scope of activities by acquiring Sud Value, a real estate management agency in Marseille.
- In October 2022, after 8 years of sustained external growth, groupe BROUSSE VERGEZ becomes groupe Brousse and unveils its new coroporate identity and platform, along with its new logo.
To be continued...
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