Benoit Gourgues and Anne Karschunke own Craft French Pâté, a business that was started from a simple dream back in 2017.
What is your company background, how did you start the business?
Gourgues had the idea to start a business but didn't know what to do first. After hearing about a small business course offered through Barbican Training in Nelson he went back to school for 36 weeks next to his full-time job.
The idea was to come to class with a business idea and the course talks you through every step necessary to set it up. At this point, it was just an idea or dream. Luckily, Gourgues’ Teacher/Mentor was very supportive and encouraging.
Things started to become real when Gourgues got approval from Nelson City Council for a stall at the Nelson Saturday Market. With a lot of help, feedback, and criticism from friends Craft was started and has slowly grown into what it is now. There have been some ups and downs, but we love what we do and enjoy direct contact with our customers.
What is the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
The current retail range consists of four different products that sell in 150g jars. The Chicken Liver Parfait, as well as the Pistachio, Cranberry and Bacon Terrine, would be the most popular followed by the more traditional ones: a Pork Rillette and a Green Peppercorn Terrine.
They are all Gluten Free and have no preservatives or additives except for the bacon we use, but nothing nasty is added. The Rillette and the Green Peppercorn are also dairy-free and we use only Free Range and Free Farmed New Zealand meat. All products are produced in small batches and are handcrafted.
At the market, we have a wider range of products that we cut fresh off the loaf on demand. The products vary with the seasons, for example for Easter, we might have a Rabbit Terrine. In Autumn we use Wild meats, nuts or Mushrooms. We like to experiment for our repeat customers at the market and sometimes they help and give us a challenge or ideas.
Has there been any recent company news?
We are still just a very small business run by Gourgues and Karschunke. As we are slowly expanding we are looking for a great person to come on board and to help create outstanding products. Otherwise, we just applied for the Outstanding Food Producer awards and are going to apply for the Artisan Awards this year. It would be great to be awarded to help get the business off the ground, especially outside the Nelson Tasman Region.
What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
We are dreaming of taking over New Zealand jar by jar. We have grown beyond our expectations and keep getting great feedback from customers. Going forward we would love to get into more shops. These may be local delicatessen shops, Cellar doors or anyone who love to sell our products with the right passion for good quality food.
Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability? If so, where would you like to see the product situated?
We are available in Fresh Choice Nelson, Richmond and Takaka as well as shops around the Nelson/Tasman region like the Junction out in the Grape Escape Complex.
Quite a few Vineyards around Nelson, Tasman, Marlborough and Central Otago have our products on their menu, and we would love to expand our availability of course, great outlets like Farro Fresh and Moore Wilsons come to mind. We recently can call Ballantynes in Christchurch one of our customers which is a great addition to the list of stockists.