Mathilde & Audrey,
the florists from Désirée
Since last November, La Grande Épicerie de Paris has been selling flower bouquets and succulents from Désirée. Learn a bit about its young founders, Mathilde and Audrey, two lovers of non-traditional, 100 % home-grown flowers.
How did Désirée start?
Mathilde : Flowers are a product we’ve always been passionate about. While developing our project, we realised that it was difficult to find seasonal wildflowers within a reasonable price range. The lack of information on the source of flowers or history of their producers also surprised us.
Then, with a closer study of the market, we found that 85 % of flowers came from abroad, including Africa and South America.
Yet we have real production techniques in France, developed in production areas in the Var, Ile-de-France and Brittany.
For one year, we travelled across France meeting producers and visiting their operations.
Audrey : Désirée’s concept became obvious to us: we wanted to connect each flower to its producer. We now specify the origin of our flowers on each bouquet, and even tell you the operation where the flowers are grown!
As the months went by, we managed to form strong relationships with our suppliers. We helped some to develop, such as our cactus supplier. We created a specific logistics route just for him, so that his products could get to us!
What is different about Désirée?
Mathilde : All of our flowers, succulents and cacti are grown in France. Their French origin also ensures their freshness, since they have short supply chains. It means they were cut not long ago, then transported in water. For this reason, they also last longer.
Our plants are also ‘hardy’; they are thus especially resistant to the cold. You can keep them inside or place them on your balcony during winter, without risking damaging them.
What are the links between flowers and gastronomy?
Audrey : At Désirée, there are many links with gastronomy! The very history of our brand is linked to food. Audrey and I were both previously protected designation of origin (PDO) cheese buyers. We have always been sensitive to the same issues of traceability and selection of raw materials.
Mathilde : We include edible flowers and foliage in our bouquets, such as curly kale leaves! This makes for a surprise and adds a touch of originality to our compositions!
What flowers do you work with?
Audrey : We mainly work with wildflowers like wallflowers and snapdragons, which we would love to bring back into style. We offer rare flowers as well, inspirations from abroad, such as spider mums, which are simply exquisite! The spearworts from the Var, more difficult to find, are also certainly not lacking in originality. We try to ensure variety from one flower to the next, to emphasise each flower’s poetry. We want to offer flowers that are unique in size, fragrance and colour!
Inspire us! What bouquet would you recommend:
- for a romantic dinner: forget the red roses and take a more dynamic flower like red anemones! They continue to develop over the following days... A beautiful symbol, don’t you think?
- to wow them: Give a bouquet made up of edible flowers, such as the starflower or kale leaves, which we match with very colourful flowers. They offer a highly appreciated baroque touch!
- for the interior: consider succulents or cacti, which are very easy to maintain. They just need a little bit of water and lots of light!
Discover Désirée bouquets and rustic plants in store at our Marketplace. During our event Cuisine en fleurs x Beatriz Gonzalez , discover their selection of aromatic plants at the entrance of the La Grande Epicerie Rive Gauche store until April 30th.