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A Family, A Company, A Belief
“La Semeuse” Origin and History
Marc Bloch the founder of La Semeuse came from a family of grocers in Alsace, France. Founded in 1900, the company specializes in the importation and distribution of groundnut oil. In 1916, Marc Bloch dies for France on the Balkan front. From that moment it is his young widow, Hortense, who will take over the management of the company. She will diversify the company’s activities by developing coffee roasting, and give La Semeuse the drive it needs for its growth.
In 1938, Henri and Jean, Marc and Hortense’s two sons join the company. It isn’t long before war brakes out, oil imports are subject to quotas, the male staff and managers are mobilized. La Semeuse goes through these troubled times the best it can.
When the war ends attitudes and needs have changed. Facing the crisis, the Bloch brothers decide to split. Jean and his wife, Huguette, remain alone at the head of the business. They decide to drop the oil business and concentrate on importing, roasting and distributing coffee.
Since 1976, after studying political science and doing internships in coffee producing countries, the grandson of the founder, also bearing the first name Marc, puts his skills and knowledge at the service of the family business. He takes the direction of La Semeuse in 1982.
In May 2015, is bought by the Bihler Family!
From one family to another: In May 2015 Marc Bloch, the grandson of the founder sells La Semeuse to the Bihler family, owners of Choco Diffusion SA and several brands such as Goldkenn, SwissDream and Bibichoc. Marc Bloch had been looking for a while to pass the torch, but couldn’t find the right person to succed him. He wanted someone with a certain financial base of course, but he also required someone with a good knowledge of the distribution, which the Bihler family has in particular via its customers. A corner stone in the decision of choosing his successor was to find someone that would keep La Semeuse in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Marc being very attached to the region.
Marc finds in de Bihler Family a successor which will ensure the durability and the values of LA SEMEUSE in the long term. From this moment, Mr. Nicolas Bihler takes over the General Management of LA SEMEUSE.
La Semeuse’s place of origin
Since its creation in 1900, La Semeuse has always remained true to La Chaux-de-Fonds, its place of origin. The location of this city is essential to create the unique taste of the coffee La Semeuse.
High altitude roasting takes away bitterness and acidity:
Roasting at an altitude of 1000 meters allows the bean to roast at a temperature which does not affect its essential aroma or flavors. The atmospheric pressure being lower than at sea level, boiling occurs at a lower temperature. This physical property acts favorably on the quality of coffees from La Semeuse, which are distinguished by their subtle power, lack of bitterness and acidity.
Storing green coffee
Each year, La Semeuse imports nearly 15,000 bags of green coffee, less than 10% of which are robustas. 90% of the imported green coffee consists in the most subtle coffees - Arabica washed and unwashed – from renowned coffee plantations.
Once the green coffee bags arrive in La Chaux-de-Fonds, they are stored very precisely according to origin and harvest. In Switzerland Coffee is considered a basic commodity, in fact, roasters are required by law to keep a reserve to be used only in the event of emergency. This means that La Semeuse has a permanent reserve of one hundred tons of green coffee!
A know how
THE ART OF TORREFACTION
It’s only once it is roasted that coffee acquires its color, exquisite aroma and delicious taste. La Semeuse roasts in drum roasters using an ancient method that has allowed production secrets to be passed from generation to generation, guaranteeing the authenticity of La Semeuse coffees. Nevertheless, although the roasting process is based on an artisanal method, it is controlled with the help of the most recent and most reliable tools, which allows La Semeuse coffees’ quality and taste to remain consistent and irreproachable.