Elsa Proverbio moved from an office to a lab. She launched an organic food business after working as a graphic designer, marking a professional U-turn for the woman from Lyon living in Montpellier since 2013. She produces a line of cream desserts under the name Crem’Riz
based on organic Camargue rice. The products are completely innovative, and without any preservatives or added sugar. Their development was possible thanks to recipes created by Christophe Favrot, an agronomics engineer and microbiologist specialized in bacteria and probiotic fermentation, which yields the ferments they need.
Elsa Proverbio adapts her product line to include a variety of different flavors, including natural, vanilla, coconut, citronella, blueberry, red berries, ginger/cherry, coffee, intense chocolate, and orange blossom. Consumers at organic food stores like them all. Three years after launching the business, she supplies about thirty stores located between Arles, Narbonne, and Nîmes in the south of France. “I would like to start distribution in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille,” she says, planning ahead.
The first Covid lock-down actually boosted her business. She had to produce more to meet growing demand by people sensitive to 100% natural and local products provided via a direct-to-consumer model. Elsa Proverbio had to pick up the pace. She now produces over 2,000 cream desserts per month in a fully equipped workshop that she shares with two other producers on-site at Montpellier Métropole’s Market of National Interest.
“MIN promotes approaches that share the tools and resources made available to us,” she praises, adding: “Finding a facility coupled with a laboratory seemed impossible in Montpellier. It’s a good thing for us that Montpellier Métropole was there.”
Elsa Proverbio is actually an entrepreneur-employee-partner of Terracoopa
, a business cooperative that oversees the “Urban Farm of Condamine
” project and the agricultural experimentation space at Domaine de Vivier
in Clapiers, where Montpellier Métropole provided her with land. This unique structure emerged thanks to agroecology and food policy
implemented by Montpellier Métropole to preserve sustainable and high-quality production in the area.
“This is the first experimental cooperative in France,” reminds Elsa Proverbio, who has no regrets about turning her back on computer screens to get a life-size perspective of nature.