Several years ago, Caroline and Didier’s son Thomas embarked on an adventure « Terre et Abeilles (Land and Bees) »: 20 hectares of almond groves and 40 beehives between Rochemaure and Montélimar. This is how it came about …
Arnaud Soubeyran, tradition through innovation
1837, the brand is born
Although the origins of nougat itself have long vanished into the mists of time, Arnaud Soubeyran nougat began in 1837 with the marriage between Monsieur Arnaud, sweet maker, and Mademoiselle Soubeyran.
Made with audacity and love
The enterprising couple were one of the first to launch production of nougat on a larger scale than that of a normal cake shop. They deliberately chose to make a top-quality product by carefully selecting local ingredients.
Marguerite ran the factory and shop until she was 91 when she left the business to her son-in-law Jean Abel Pinchard, as she had no living direct descendants.
The ‘Ace of master nougat confectioners’
After being passed down through several generations and then bought out, the Golden Age returned to Arnaud Soubeyran thanks to Alfred Cru, nicknamed « the Ace of master nougat confectioners ». It must be said that he had big ideas as shown by the 26kg yacht made out of nougat which he presented to Grace Kelly in 1956. He produced two exclusive types of nougat, one soft and one hard, using his own special cooking methods which nobody managed to imitate.
In 1977, after an unsuccessful merger following several difficult years, the business called in the receivers.
a successful takeover
Three years later, the business was sold at auction to Charles Brotte, a native of Montélimar, fulfilling a childhood dream. He revived Monsieur Cru’s famous recipes as well as his cooking methods using copper pans which are still used today. Along with his son Jean-Pierre he developed the brand and range of confectionery.
The story continues…
In 2000 Caroline, Charles’s granddaughter, and her husband Didier Honnoré took over the management of Arnaud Soubeyran from Jean-Pierre Brotte.
5 years later they opened the Museum of Nougat, a fascinating, fun experience which was restructured in 2019 and is now a venue for shows and exhibitions throughout the year, bringing together performers and gourmets.
Over the past 20 years, Didier, a keen entrepreneur, has developed the commercial side of the business, even going so far as to learn the art of nougat-making alongside Christian Gil, a master nougat confectioner since 1980.
In 2013 their son Quentin, a chocolate-maker and confectioner, joined the business and together they offer a range of products combining unusual and delicious flavours.
The shape of things to come
In 2017, Caroline and Didier’s son, Thomas, joined the business to set up bee hives and cultivate 17 hectares of organic almond groves.
Current plans include conversion to alternative energy sources, passing on the business to the next generation, a range of organic confectionery and developing the museum. The best has yet to come !