Our story

It was at the end of the 1970s that François Cropsal, then a young French teacher, used to create homemade jams that he sold on the regional markets on his free time. It was his own way of enjoying life and having fun. The young man was animated with a passion for good taste, but also for sharing and generosity – these were all the values that were transmitted to him by his mother, who was also an excellent cook.

Very soon, François’s traditional jams gained the attention of the Countess of Barry. Seduced as she was by his creations – that she found refined and delicious – and convinced that they would please a great deal of other people, she herself made an order for homemade jams.

The oldest jam factory in the Pyrenees

Very successful there already, François Cropsal managed to fulfil his biggest dream – creating his own jam factory. He settled in a small place in the Industrial Zone in Rebouc (65). Every single thing was homemade – the pots were meticulously filled with pitchers and each cap was put by hand, as were the labels.

In 1987, the Cropsal family decided to move and settled the factory in Ger. Its already good reputation helped the company to sell the homemade jams to many local wholesalers.

Transmitting

In 2003, François Cropsal transmitted his company to Marc Coumes and Benoît Prat. So as to answer a growing demand, the two new buyers set their hearts set on modernizing and perfecting the tools transmitted by Mister Cropsal. Both coming from the industrial professional sector, they added their skills in quality managing, logistics, analyses and organization.

As a child, Marc had always wanted to be a chef. Destiny first led him to the automobile field, then to aeronautics where he officiated as quality manager. There, he met Benoît – who would become his partner later in time and with whom he worked for many years.

“We used to have the same common ambitions to try and launch ourselves into entrepreneurship. We wanted either to create or to buy a company, and we were only waiting for the ideal project, the one that would make us want to be fully involved into. The buying of the Cropsal jam factory was not even a question; it was obvious”.

The two men were helped by the original founder in discovering the working system and the secrets of handmade jam fabrication. Christine is a long-term worker everyday-representative of the jam factory. She is still part of the staff today.

A new era

Benoît and Marc made their best to modernize the management and organization of the company, yet without changing its original spirit.

“The main goal was to answer every order and request on time. We needed to produce a stock, big enough so as to satisfy the requests without any waiting time for the customers. Thanks to this progress, the revenue of the factory increased from the first year. Added to that, we re-structured the whoe functioning of the company and we levelled up the volume of production. The mechanization of the fabrication process made it possible for us to gain a high amount of time and quality”.

Major progress has been made, namely the creation of recipes based on local products; the personalization of the labels; and the betterment in the relationship with customers. The brand now stands proudly on the shelves of the famous local wholesalers and on the stalls of the markets in the region. The company is aiming at growing even more in the South-West and in the whole country.

The jam factory and the shop

The jam factory and the workshop

Maison Cassandrine is located in Nousty (64), at the core of the triangle of the cities Pau-Tarbes-Lourdes. This location is ideally situated on a very busy axis, along Road RD 817, near the exit of the A64 highway. The new premises are dedicated to answer the imperative technical, stocking and logistical objectives.

Maison Cassandrine is located in Nousty (64), at the core of the triangle of the cities Pau-Tarbes-Lourdes. This location is ideally situated on a very busy axis, along Road RD 817, near the exit of the A64 highway. The new premises are dedicated to answer the imperative technical, stocking and logistical objectives.

The fruits and sugar are plunged into and heated in double boilers (bain-marie) in original, stainless-steeled, handmade traditional cauldrons. “The cauldrons have been modernized so as to heighten the quality of the final product”.

Christine, homemade-jam confectioner since 1992

“I love my job. We work every day to please other people!” Christine has been working in this human-sized company for a long time now.

Some acidulous blackcurrant aromas fill in the ambient air while, when the jam is put into pots, the glass pots and tops flap and tap against each other. “Unlike what stereotypes suppose, the job of a jam confectioner does not only result in mixing fruits and sugar. You also have to be good in chemistry, and handy! Every single day is different – and some sorts of fruits, such as black cherries for example, need more attention than others”.

What is the best way to enjoy Maison Cassandrine’s jam? According to her, “spread on a buttered toast of bread; this is how the jam reveals itself”.

Small shop, big jams !

There is a selling shop in the factory so as to answer the requests of accustomed clients and passing-by food lovers. Warm and friendly, this little bit of love of good food perfectly represents the brand. On the shelves, traditional jam and jelly pots invite you to taste them.

There is a selling shop in the factory so as to answer the requests of accustomed clients and passing-by food lovers. Warm and friendly, this little bit of love of good food perfectly represents the brand. On the shelves, traditional jam and jelly pots invite you to taste them.

Maison Cassandrine takes a new breath of fresh air

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the jam factory went for a restyling !

Cropsal changed its name into Maison Cassandrine. We chose a fictional name with fruity notes in which you would like to bite.

Softer, but also supple and round in the mouth like a good wine, you can pronounce the new name and feel the love of food at the same time. The choice of the French word “Maison” reinforces the renown of the establishment.

The packaging is here to highlight our exceptional products. New pots, new labels – sober and refined – were conceived so as to last in time (this was what the company missed for a long time before) and to be put forward by the great names of the French jam industry.

A traditional and top-of-the range transformation of fruits

Fruit selection

“To make an exceptional jam, you first necessarily need high-quality fruits” Marc and Benoît explained. “The fruits are picked at the top of the tree, where their pureness and flawlessness remain intact. We choose them ripe but still firm, with a perfect taste”.

Take the “Roussanne” peach from Monein for example, or the apricot from the Roussillon, the fig from Solliès-Pont, the Mirabelle plum from Lorraine...; all of them are varieties from local and French origin- and this is our priority. The jam factory works with a network of suppliers, and this partnership always ensures high quality in taste.

The recipe of success

Fruits. And sugar. Maison Cassandrine does not need anything else to create a treasure of gastronomy. Clearly, we are working from the essentials.

<p“It is possible to share a lot of happiness with few things, exactly like our grandmothers used to do. Our jam pots are made of two-thirds of fruits. There is a concentration in fruits which is way higher than in industrial made jams”.

No acidifying agent and no preservatives. The final amount of sugar is precisely adapted depending on the acidity and sugar level that are naturally present in the fruit. So every day, Benoît, Marc and Christine use to adapt the compositions with ingenuity and meticulousness.

Gourmet jams

Maison Cassandrine wants to satisfy any food lover – be him/her an epicure, a food learner, or an expert; and on any type of occasion –sharing, celebrating, or anything else. The brand works on classic jam recipes again but also creates new original and delicious mixes. There are 45 different references and more than 200 jam recipes, classified into different ranges – there are the classic jams, the dairies, the exotic ones, the unusual jams or again the regional ones. The selection of jams which allows our brand to be recognized on a national level since the 1970s continues to be served on the tables of the Elysée in Paris (the Presidential House).

The perfect match

We are mixing up different flavours, textures and appearances, but also different colours... Creating an exceptional jam is a crafty and meticulous job. The factory workers test and perfect the creations every day in Nousty with the sole objective of finding the perfect match.

Maison Cassandrine wants to highlight your breakfasts and to sweeten your tea times. You will find exquisite apricot, strawberry, raspberry and orange jams, and even flavours such as apple and salted butter caramel and many others... some flavour will make you think of your childhood’s times; this is for us the very definition of joy and happiness.

A local and traditional flavour from here...

There is a special range of jams which enlightens local primary products in bold recipes. These are the cornerstone of Maison Cassandrine in the South West region of France – the Roussanne peaches from Monein, the exquisite orange and Armagnac wine marmalade, the strawberries coming from the city of Madiran, the yellow peaches and Jurançon wine, jelly made of Jurançon wine and hot chilli from Espelette in the Basque country, the candied red pepper and smoked chilli from the Béarn region... all the recipes are a real invitation to love and enjoy food!

… and elsewhere

If Maison Cassandrine is so attached to local products and classics, it is also always striving to find new types of food emotions. For example, unexpected marriages – as subtle as surprising- between spices, flowers and (sometimes exotic) fruits – i.e. candied flower petals from Osmanth in the Yunnan, led the factory to create exquisite jams with flavours such as three citrus fruit and fig jam; spice bread and nuts; mango chutney and Sichuan pepper or cinnamon, rhum and pineapple.

Our commitments

Reasonable prices

Maison Cassandrine offers high-quality traditional handmade jams. However, the team also wants to keep reasonable prices.

The jam creation expertise going on from generations to generations is clearly the key to a qualitative product. Yet, it is the way of management that makes it possible for the owners to keep a hand on production costs and to offer affordable prices.

Reactivity & constancy

Maison Cassandrine wants to respect its commitments. So as to answer our customers’ requests – as far as quality and time periods are concerned-, Benoît and Marc can count on a highly performing logistics system:

“Our production rate still makes it possible for us to have some time left to answer personalized orders or even during high production periods. On top of that, we are able to guarantee the availability of our goods all year long.”

Committed to quality

Committed to quality

Committed to quality

Thanks to flexible and very reactive production machinery, Maison Cassandrine is also able to offer on-demand handmade jams, jellies and sweet fruit treats. Requests can be made in small or bigger quantities, depending on what you need.
“In concentrating on strict technical specifications, we can develop unique and special recipes for wholesalers and many catering professionals. We also work with market gardeners and fruit producers who entrust us with their fruit production so that we can transform them into jam. The jam factory also got a certification for the special transformation of fruits coming from Organic Farming (Agriculture Biologique label in France).”

We use our creation skills to please you

Because every single step in the making is closely mastered and controlled, Marc and Benoît have the advantage to make different choices in their creation process and such a thing would not be possible in an industrial context. This way, Maison Cassandrine can answer any demand from this very specialized market.

Personalisation

Maison Cassandrine offers personalized and customized jam making and packaging for distributors, companies, or clubs for example. And all this with a personalized labelling process.

For any enquiry please contact you traditional jam confectioner near Pau !

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