A century of family passion for cheese
His wife Pascaline's parents run the Longueville-sur-Scie post office, located in a beautiful little valley between Dieppe and Rouen. The newlyweds ran a grocery store on rue Beauvoisine in Rouen, then rue de la Savonnerie (bombed in 1940), and finally rue de l'Hôpital, where Geneviève, the 4th of 5 Leroux-Hennetier children, met my father, Marcel Olivier.
In the genes
Geneviève, my mother (penultimate), met my father when he was working for my grandparents. After their marriage, they first ran a grocery and cheese store in Bapeaume-les-Rouen, in the western suburbs of the Normandy capital. They arrived in Dieppe in 1955, where they took over the Alexandre grocery store, and turned it into one of the best-known grocery-cheese stores in Normandy. That's where I spent my childhood, where I began my apprenticeship, working alongside my father.
My brother Claude also has cheese in his genes, as it was he who took over the family business in Dieppe and developed it further. He retired and handed it over to his daughter Bénédicte, while his son François took over the old store on rue de l'Hôpital in Rouen around ten years ago, continuing the family tradition...
As for me, as early as 1968, Dad explained that the Dieppe business could only allow one of his children to "earn a living"; as with my grandfather Ernest in his time, I had to look for other horizons.
Not without a certain amount of disappointment, but with the desire to learn and improve, I thus undertook a "tour de France" from Paris to Cannes..... to finally settle in Boulogne-sur-Mer, on Friday December 13, 1974.
If at the outset my ambition was that of a man wishing to make a living from his passion, I was soon able to share my discoveries and favorites with local and then regional restaurateurs, before embarking on the adventure - because at the time, it really was one! - of exporting: the Pas-de-Calais strait separates us from the UK by just 35 km, and the Belgian border is not so far away.
Today, it's Romain who continues the family adventure... His passion is at least as great; the desire to share his knowledge and love of real cheeses with others is forever in his genes...