Biscuiterie Jeannette’s story began in 1850, when Pierre Mollier opened a
little biscuit factory in Normandy. The idea to create madeleines came about in the
first part of 20 th century, when Lucien Jeannette joined the company as an associate
of Mollier. Using simple, locally sourced high quality ingredients, the small,
delicate sponge cake became Jeannette’s speciality within a decade.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Biscuiterie Jeannette enjoyed its most commercially
successful period with almost 40 percent of the biscuit market in France.
This older, traditional biscuit company in Normandy fell into difficulty when faced
with competition from mass-production and the company’s activity inevitably
decreased. Biscuiterie Jeannette was liquidated in December 2013, the materials
and machinery put up for auction, and the few remaining employees, made
redundant. The 20 ex-employees decided to fight the closure of the factory and
observing a shift pattern, they occupied the building to protect their workplace
from sale or demolition whilst beginning their research for a new owner.
The new owner would not be a typical small business buyer; it needed to be
someone who could breathe life and innovation into the company and someone
who was bold enough to rejuvenate and relaunch the Jeannette biscuit factory. This
project was enthusiastically welcomed by the persistent “ex-employees”.
During what felt like a very long month, requiring hard work and determination
and finding huge financial and moral support from France, Australia, United States
and South Korea, the brand was re-established on the 24 November 2014.
In September 2015, like a phoenix from the ashes, the Jeannette biscuit factory,
which was first founded in1850, relaunched its production of high quality
After many years of uncertainty, the story of the oldest biscuit factory in France
continues. Today, the madeleine, the scallop-shaped little cake, handmade in
Normandy, continues to rebuild its reputation and is the pride of the region.