Sonoma, CA — Laura Chenel Chevre, Inc., parent company to the brands Laura Chenel, Marin French Cheese Co. and St. Benoit Creamery, makers of the finest French-style cheese and dairy products in America, announces changes to its leadership team including the introduction of Chief Executive Officer Laure Chatard. Chatard has devoted her career to the specialty food industry and joins the trio of companies after eight years as the North American director of sales and marketing for Donsuemor, Inc., a division of St Michel North America, the U.S. office of France’s most popular cookie company. Chatard takes overfrom General Manager Philippe Chevrollier, who has been named North America Area Manager for Laiteries H. Triballat, parent company of Laura Chenel Chevre, Inc. and its trio of brands. In his new role, Philippe will work with Laure to ensure a smooth transition and successful development of Laura Chenel, Marin French Cheese Co., and St. Benoit Creamery activities.
Laura Chenel Chevre, Inc.’s new executive team also includes the promotion of Manon Servouse to Director of Marketing; BJ Frank to Eastern Director of Sales; and Caroline DiGiusto to Marin French Cheese Co. Creamery Manager. New additions to the team include Felice Thorpe as Western Director of Sales and Francois Challet as Laura Chenel and St. Benoit Creamery Manager.
Laiteries H. Triballat purchased Laura Chenel Chevre, Inc. and its brand Laura Chenel in 2006, Marin French Cheese Co. in 2011 and St. Benoit Creamery in 2016. Its state-of-the-art creamery in Sonoma is the first LEED Gold-certified creamery in the country and reflects a shared commitment to crafting the best quality cheese in a sustainably conscious manner with the freshest milk from a network of family-owned farms. The award-winning cheeses, yogurts and
dairy desserts produced by Laura Chenel, Marin French Cheese Co. and St. Benoit Creamery are rooted in French tradition but reflect the unique terroir of northern California.
Chevrollier says Laura Chenel Chevre, Inc. has been fortunate to attract passionate individuals who are dedicating their lives to the cheese and dairy world and the success of their unique brands. “I am a firm believer that what makes a team work is the individual commitment to the group effort. And I can tell you that, today, we have the right individuals for that. The Laura Chenel Chevre, Inc. team is today a good example of what a multicultural team of dedicated experts can achieve,“ he says.
Chevrollier quotes actor and musician Jimmy Dean for inspiration during this unprecedented year. “ ‘We can’t change the direction of the wind, but we can adjust our sails to always reach our destination.’ I have been inspired by this quote and considered that even if 2020 is a challenging year, it should mark a new orientation for Laura Chenel Chevre, Inc.,” Chevrollier says. “We have reinforced the team with strong individuals, all experts in their area.”
Chief Executive Officer Laure Chatard spent eight years as the director of sales and marketing, North America of Donsuemor, Inc, a division of St Michel North America (Group St Michel Biscuits). Laure earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from California State University.
She has lived in the San Francisco Bay area for almost 20 years and has spent her entire professional career in the specialty food industry. Laure started her career as a West Coast sales representative at Fabrique Délices, a charcuterie and specialty meat manufacturer. She then took over direction of sales operations at Galaxy Desserts, part of Groupe Brioche Pasquier, and five years later at FullBloom Baking Co., now part of Aryzta North America.
During her eight years at Donsuemor/St Michel North America, Laure has been part of the executive team providing vital support in strategic decision-making and planning while simultaneously managing the sales and marketing team and overseeing business development of the North America subsidiary.
Director of Marketing Manon Servouse is originally from the Bordeaux region in France. Manon’s interest in wine, specialty foods and cheese took her on a global journey working for notable brands such as Remy-Cointreau, Piper & Charles Heidsieck Champagne in France and a large British multinational food manufacturer, United Biscuits, makers of McVities biscuits and Jacob’s Cream Crackers. Manon’s love of cheese led her to Laiteries H. Triballat, working initially in France as the Rians cheese brand manager and then moving to the United States in 2016. Manon has been a part of the Laiteries H. Triballat team for seven years, defining marketing brand strategy, innovation, and positioning.
Western Director of Sales Felice Thorpe grew up on a farm in Bolinas, Calif., and has strong roots in California agriculture. She is the current president of the California Artisan Cheese Guild and passionate about handcrafted foods. Felice graduated from Mons Academie Opus Caseus. She is a former cheese judge for the Good Food Foundation and served as the cheese specialist for Chefs Warehouse in Northern California. Felice believes that cheese is culturally symbolic and communicates a sense of place. She is honored to be the new West Coast Sales Director for Laura Chenel Chevre, Inc. and its trio of brands.
Eastern Director of Sales BJ Frank has lived and worked in Washington, D.C., for more than 20 years and entered the specialty foods industry after a long and distinguished career in federal government including eight years as director of operations for the First Lady’s Office at the White House. Prior to joining Marin French Cheese Co. and Laura Chenel in 2015 as their regional sales manager for the East Coast, BJ spent four and a half years as the RSM for Creminelli Fine Meats. Frank developed a love of food and food culture in his role traveling the country and the world with the First Lady of the United States.
Laura Chenel and St. Benoit Creamery Manager Francois Challet joins Laura Chenel Chevre, Inc. with more than 35 years’ experience in the cheese and dairy industry, most recently as production manager at Fromageries Des Chaumes. Among his previous jobs, Francois worked for Savencia Cheese & Dairy in Japan and Alta Dena Dairy in California. Francois will oversee all facets of production for Laura Chenel’s award-winning cheeses and St. Benoit Creamery’s yogurts and dairy desserts.
Marin French Cheese Co. Creamery Manager Caroline DiGiusto has spent the last three years managing research and development for Laura Chenel fresh and aged goat cheeses, Marin French Cheese Co. soft-ripened cow’s milk cheeses and St. Benoit Creamery’s milk, yogurt, and desserts. Driven by a passion for science and food, she studied for three years at a specialized French dairy school, the “Ecole Nationale Industrie Laitiere”, learning all facets of microbiology, cheese cultures, chemistry, and processes required to make traditional artisan cheeses. Following this experience, she went on to gain her Engineer Degree (MS) in Food Science & Technology. Caroline then joined the Bel Group full-time performing research and development in France and the Netherlands. In her new role Caroline will oversee all aspects of Marin French Cheese Co. operations.
About Laura Chenel
Laura Chenel ushered in a new chapter in American cheese in 1979 when she started making farmstead goat cheese with milk from her goats and techniques she learned in France.
Today, Laura Chenel still embodies its founding namesake’s pioneering spirit as a leading producer of fresh and aged goat cheeses, and goat yogurts crafted with fresh goat milk from family-owned farms in California, Oregon, Nevada and Idaho. Located in the heart of Sonoma County, Laura Chenel is the first U.S. creamery to be awarded LEED Gold certification, and its commitment to sustainable practices, including solar energy and recycling, helps preserve the terroir for generations to come.
About Marin French Cheese Co.
Marin French Cheese Co. is proud to be the longest continually operating creamery in the United States, committed since 1865 to engaging in sustainable cheesemaking practices that respect nature and the local environment. Handcrafted with passion and made of the highest quality milk from local dairies within 20 miles of the creamery, Marin French Cheese Co. offers a distinctive and authentic taste true to its roots in Marin County.
About St. Benoit Creamery
St. Benoit Creamery believes in REAL FOOD, REAL GOOD. Organic, full-fat, pasture-raised Jersey cow’s milk is at the heart of our clean label yogurt, desserts and dairy. Our single herd of Jersey cows roam the rolling hills of Sonoma County on an Animal Welfare certified farm just 26 miles from our sustainable creamery (LEED Gold Certified).