Name of the provider / Family business
Solid professional experience and the Family Business
Professional sector and company size
Ice cream/sorbet maker, <50 employees
Succession, lack of experience or skills
See France Case Study – Module 2
Link to more information
Bertrand and Xavier Rousselle, two brothers from Ardeche started the family adventure in 1995. Terre Adélice began as a project to create an artisanal ice cream and sorbet company. In the beginning, they aimed to transform fruits grown on the farm where the adventure began and sell their cheeses and desserts to restaurateurs. One year later, they started producing sorbets and within two years, they were producing ice cream. Their artisanal production process included considerations such as not cooking the fruit in order to preserve them and avoid having to add artificial colors and flavors.
As the family business continued to grow, the brothers left the original farm and production site and moved to nearby Saint Sauver de Montagut in an old rehabilitated mill in 2007. In 2009 Terre Adélice launched its first organic ice cream product and as of 2020, all products were 100% organic. Throughout the development of the business, the family stayed committed to certain values, like selling locally and respecting the environment. For their employees, the family stressed the importance of communication, collaboration, and harnessing the potential and talent of each individual employee. Today the family business has 3 ice cream shops in Saint Sauver de Montagut, Lyon and Grenoble. Their products are for sale in restaurants and organic stores across France.
One key element of their success is nourishing the skills within the family. The founders were actually engineers and used their work experience and knowledge to create initial market research before beginning the family adventure. In addition to adapting certain existing skills to the business, they took part in multiple internships and courses with ice cream makers. As the founders prepared for their retirement, the succession of Terre Adélice allowed Bastien Laval of the next generation to take over the company.
Laval brought his own entrepreneurial expertise and experiences to the job. In the past, he worked for 12 years for Danone with multiple levels of responsibility, from Logistics and Operations Manager to Supply Chain Performance Director. With a similar entrepreneurial spirit as the founders, he also founded and managed two companies. His past experience acted as a legitimizing factor as he took over the company, as well as his deep understanding of the family business’s history, values and objectives which are shared by Terre Adélice staff.
His advice for the next generation in family business: although new ideas are important, the secret to perennity is to stay true to certain characteristics of a business and to “not change everything”, which may cause the next generation to get rid of things that worked really well for the company for years. He suggests having a collaborative approach with the previous owners, bringing ideas to the table but also listening to previous owners’ ideas and those of current partners, collaborators and employees. This allows the family business manager to react to current circumstances while also assuring a long-term vision.