Our offices in Marches, in the Drôme region
In 2016, when there were just six people in the Lamazuna team, Laëtitia began thinking about setting up a permaculture garden so there wouldn't be any need for lunch vouchers anymore.
And what if we had our own company restaurant? This would enable us to control the waste from our kitchen!
While we pondered this idea, another one came along... What if we grew the food for this restaurant in our very own permaculture garden? We could either work the garden ourselves, or – if there weren't enough of us – hire someone to help out.
Finding the land for a project like this is difficult in the Paris region, so we packed our suitcases and headed for the leading organic region in France: the Drôme!
We arrived in Marches in July 2018, with the objective of giving ourselves one year to find the ideal land!
Our future eco-site
And… we did it!
A plot of land right next to our current offices could be just what we were looking for!
After a year of negotiations and various twists and turns, we finally signed the preliminary sales agreement and were one step closer to our goal!
Since then, the idea for a vegetable garden has evolved quite a lot... Now it has become the Lamazuna eco-site project!
Gradually, we came up with ideas for ways to develop an eco-site that's consistent with our values.
We'd like our restaurant to become a place that welcomes people for different activities – much like our workshop-store in Paris, or Ulysse, our converted van-cum-workshop-space, which we used for our Tour de France in summer 2018.
It could be a place for meetups, screenings, activities for adults and children, etc. There are always lots of ideas that come up when you want to share things with others!
Given the size of the land involved, our initial idea of setting up a permaculture vegetable garden has become a project to set up a micro-farm! Plus, we'd really like it to be awarded the "Jardin remarquable" (Remarkable garden) label.
We'd also like to have a mini crèche, as many members of the Lamazuna team are young, so we're expecting some new "additions" in the future!
As for our future premises, we've put a lot of thought into lots of different aspects. We want to have eco-friendly insulation, with green roofing on one side and solar panels all over the other. We'd like to have large glass panels and an office area that's fitted out entirely with wood. It's a project that will change and grow as more ideas come along, but it will always be consistent with what we believe in.
Alongside this wonderful project, we needed a concrete number – our first target figure, which would make us all feel that we had accomplished a mission. And that number is (drum roll, please): 150!
150 what? 150 million items of waste avoided? No. There isn't any figure that we'll be happy with when it comes to reducing waste.
150 million euros in turnover? No. Our turnover may enable us to do many great things, but it's not an objective in itself.
150 people in the Lamazuna team? Yes!!!
This is our target: 150 team members and not one more!
Once we've reached that number, we'll enter into an exciting phase of optimizing all our processes, from sales to logistics – and this will include finding new recruits to work in our restaurant garden and mini crèche!
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Ulysse: our van-cum-workshop-space
We're very attached to Ulysse – our renovated van!
Ulysse was "born" in 2010 and began life as a horse van, before arriving at Lamazuna in 2017. We gave it a completely new lease of life using repurposed wood, and named it "Ulysse" after the famous French song (based on a famous French poem), "Heureux qui comme Ulysse a fait un beau voyage" (which loosely translates as "Happy he who, like Ulysses, has had a beautiful journey").
A new colour gave Ulysse a new start in life! We repainted the van in a beautiful turquoise shade, then the eco-builders from Comp'Oz gave it a new look on the inside. Out with the splashes of mud, wisps of straw and dust – and in with a new eco-friendly design using recycled pallets! The inside of the van was converted into two separate spaces: a cosy, relaxed area with a table and benches, much like you'd find on a boat, and a "bathroom" area for all our new 100% natural beauty products!
For over two years, we travelled around France – and even beyond France – aboard Ulysse. We were already holding workshops on zero waste and veganism at our workshop-store in Paris, but it was time to hit the road and meet like-minded people face to face!
Since coming to the Drôme region in July 2018, we've been holding zero waste workshops for children, to introduce them to this approach and tell them all about it.
Every Tuesday, from 4 to 6 p.m., Ulysse is transformed into a store, next to our offices in Marches. Alexandra is always there to welcome visitors with a smile and show them our new products!