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Our History

BROUSSE VERGEZ : 80 Years of History

"BROUSSE VERGEZ is a wonderful human venture, during which four generations of entrepreneurs have made their mark whilst remaining faithful to the fundamental values passed down by my grandfather, Jacques Brousse: the value of work and a profound respect for others." (Stephan Brousse, MD)

The history of BROUSSE VERGEZ begins… in Bordeaux in 1928!
In 1928, Georges Brousse, who was then running the family business R. BROUSSE ET FILS, founded in Bordeaux in 1824 and recently come to specialize in trading in fresh fruit and vegetables, decided to send his younger brother Jacques to Marseille to open a commercial branch of the firm.

In 1933, the insufficient margins generated by the Marseille branch office drove Georges to call his brother back to Bordeaux. But Jacques believed in the tremendous potential of the Mediterranean and decided to set up his own business in Marseille. He started over from scratch, launching a ripening centre for bananas, the favourite exotic fruit of the time.

On 12 June 1946, Jacques Brousse gave new impetus to his business, creating SARL JACQUES BROUSSE ET GASTON NOUHAUD with a trader from the Limousin region, to import and sell fruit and early produce.

In 1953, Gaston Nouhaud sold his shares to Jacques, who then asked Daniel Vergez to partner with him. On 20 November 1953, S.A. J. BROUSSE, D. VERGEZ & CIE was born, specializing in early produce trading. This gave concrete form to a beautiful friendship and deep affection that would last their whole lives.

On 31 March 1970, Jacques Brousse retired, handing the reins over to his son André, who had joined the firm in 1951 to develop partnerships with North African planters (for citrus from Algeria and dates from Tunisia).

In 1979, André's youngest son Stephan entered the family company, creating a new business line. This was the birth of the Bakery/Pastry Tinned Fruits Department and of the brand that would embody it: BROVER.

In 1988, Stephan Brousse was named Deputy MD of the company when it changed its name to BROUSSE VERGEZ S.A.

On 23 January 1989, Stephan became MD of BROUSSE VERGEZ. His brother Franck joined the BROVER Department, which he would run for 16 years, from 1989 to 2005.

In 2001, BROUSSE VERGEZ invested in new premises (customized new buildings and a depot) in Saint Henri, to the north of Marseille, which today serve as the company's head offices.

In 2004, the Dried Fruits department was created, and fresh fruits and vegetables were gradually abandoned. Only the seasonal trade in Maltese oranges from Tunisia has been retained. That same year, the company received its AFAQ ISO 9001 certification in acknowledgement of the quality policy instituted by Bénédicte, Stephan's sister, who is in charge of the department.

In parallel, Stephan became involved in employers' organizations, first in the dried fruits industry and then in multidisciplinary structures. For example, in recognition of his strong dedication to promoting entrepreneurial values and developing his local region, he was elected President of the UPE 13 in 2005 and later President of MEDEF PACA in 2010. He is also the Special Advisor to the President of MEDEF (nationwide) on the subject of microbusinesses and SMEs.

In December 2011, BROUSSE VERGEZ built a workshop in Marseille for the creation and manufacture of dried fruit gift boxes: BV Création.

In 2012, Fabien Brousse, Stephan's son, took over as head of the BROVER Department, within which had had been developing the Export & Industry business since 2004.
At the end of the year, he was joined by his brother Jeremy who, after 10 years working in media advertising brokerages, opted in on the family venture, handling its Marketing issues.

In January 2013, the company invested in leasing an additional, fully equipped depot for BROVER products, covering more than 3,000 m2.

In November 2013, BROUSSE VERGEZ broke new ground in entirely reworking its information system with the rollout of a next generation software suite allowing it in particular to manager the two depots using a computerized solution to optimize productivity and traceability.

In May 2014, BROUSSE VERGEZ acquired the tinned foods and dried fruits business from C.I.N.R.J. Produits Secs, further building on its position as a specialist in the tinned fruit and vegetable trade.

In August 2014, it took over Axe Fruit, a company based in Brittany and specializing in dried fruits for food manufacturers and more specifically in superfruits (cranberries, blueberries, goji berries, mulberries and so on).

In January 2015 : opening of a subsidiary in Germany, Brousse GmbH, to focus on the German retail market for dried fruits and tinned fruits.

 In April 2016 : acquisition of 100% of the AMBRO FOODS share capital, whose principal activity is the distribution in France of a full range of candied fruits : candied red cherries, cubs, candied citrus fruits (slices, aiguillettes, peels...), whole fruits... 

 

In June 2016 : renovation and extension of the head office with the addition of a new floor of 270 m2 on the original building.

In April 2017: acquisition of the company ARGUYDAL based in Aubagne (13), specializing in the design and distribution of hand-painted porcelain figurines and accessories related to the Epiphany.