Valentin was a ballet choregrapher and Armel used to be an assistant producer. They are bestfriends, been roommates since 8 years and now are business partners. At just 25 years old, these young entrepreneurs are the solid duo behind Les Gamins Gourmands.
CREATE SOMETHING NEW
What were you doing before this? Take us back to where it all started.
V : Truth is, we used to hate popcorn. Too greasy, too sweet, too salty. We couldn’t find anything that made us happy… so we created it.
A : Popcorn is seen as fast food and we wanted to change people’s perception. We turned it into something high end, yet affordable.
THRIVE ON CHALLENGE
What are some of the challenges you faced along the way? Have they changed from the challenges you face today?
V : We knew nothing about popcorn business and nobody believed in us. But we did. We took action, we learned and we never gave up. And it works.
A : When you are an entrepreneur, you’re constantly resolving problems. A lot of things can’t be planned. Gotta love the risk. But risk is not a bad thing. You have to embrace it!
V : We do everything from A to Z. Buying, cooking, taking care of the social medias, accounting and packaging. It’s countless hours work, and not a lot of sleep.
BREAK DOWN THE DOORS
What are the most valuable skills that someone needs to start their own business ?
V : You have to be super organized and disciplined. Don’t be scared to knock on doors. If someone says « CEO is not available», say you want to hear it from him. Respect the law, not the rules.
A : Believe in what you do, believe in your product. Find solution to every problem. If the first solution doesn’t work, find another. Create your own chance, otherwise life will eat you alive.
BE MANY IN ONE BODY
Do you see yourself more as culinary artists or business men?
A : Entrepreneurship is like being many people at the same time.
V : You have to be an artist, a technocrat, a businessman, a shark. In a nutshell, it’s like being an octopus. First look, you’re just one thing Second look, you realize there is many tentacles, many personalities.
AIM FOR THE BEST
What advice would you give to others who aspire to go after their dreams?
V : Doubt, doubt and doubt. Ask yourself: ”is this really good ?”. We cooked every of our receipes at least 50 times each. You have to forget your ego and never be satisfied. Say no the the comfort zone.
A: Be yourself and learn from your mistakes.
SURROUNDED YOURSELF WITH INSPIRING PEOPLE
What’s the motivation that keeps you going everyday?
A : Our grandmas.
V : Everything we know, either it’s about food or our cooking skills, we learned from them. Our flavours are inspired by them. They taught us the importance of putting love and passion in every of plates you’re creating.
Who is the go getter that inspired you?
V : Jérôme Ferrer. We met him a few months ago. It was supposed to be a 30 minutes meeting. It lasted 6 hours. Really, it was a love at first sight!
*Jerome Ferrer is a world famous chef and a member of the Association des Maîtres Cuisiniers de France (French Association of Master Chefs). He owns a number of renowned restaurants (some of which have been recognized as some of the top restaurants in the world), and in 2011, he was awarded the title of Chef of the Year by the Société des chefs du Québec.
OPEN YOUR HORIZONS
Between us… what’s the one thing you would never put on your popcorn?
V : You can do everything with popcorn, it’s a world of possibilites. You’ll never be a great cook if you refuse to try new things. You could even eat popcorn with insects. I mean, why not? It’s full of nutrients!
A : Say yes to everything!
What would be your greatest achievement?
V & A : Our friendship that been throught it all, and that is now stronger than ever.
You can find Les Gamins Gourmands’s popcorn in more than 80 points of sale accross the province and differents food events and festivals. Hungry for more? Follow them here: