Founded in 1979 in the Pays d’Auge, Riou Glass is a model of innovation and family success.

The Riou family during the handover ceremony in Deauville (Calvados). ©Sophie QUESNEL

What is the relationship between a heated hive, an antibacterial computer keyboard, and CRS protection shields? All are made by the company Riou GlassEuropean leader in glass treatment, which was founded in 1979 in Boulleville, in the Eure region.

Since then, the company has grown considerably to include a glass manufacturing facility in association with Saint-Gobain south of Lyon and fourteen processing facilities across France. It currently employs over 1,000 people.

a family of entrepreneurs

“Creating a business opened my arms to me. When you don’t have a degree and you don’t know how to do much, you have to take your destiny into your own hands” says Pierre Riou modestly before mentioning a career he only wants to remember the successes of.

The adventure began in 1979. At that time, Pierre replaced the broken windows and the whole family got around in a Citroën van, a tube as it was then called. First development: external isolation “in which no one believed and no one wanted”, smiles Pierre Riou. That was 35 years ago and marked the rise of the company.

Then came the bulletproof windows, developed for Iraq, after a trip to Baghdad “to avoid hurting children in schools”. The company also manufactures CRS shields, “the ones you see every Saturday on television. I am proud to see them.” The mischievous Pierre Riou. It details the products that leave its factories: solar, connected windows, computer keyboards developed for covid, heated windows… .

Always one step ahead

Head of the family and patriarch of the company, Pierre Riou is also a visionary: “Our past was double glazing, our future will be connected glazing. This glazing has a lot of future, so everyone can believe in your company with its flaws, its qualities, but you will always be one step ahead of your colleagues and competitors because we have become, over time, true entrepreneurs and even a true family of entrepreneurs, capable of creating businesses, capable of taking care of the men and women who work there. »

Christine Riou
Christine Riou is the new president of the family business. ©Sophie QUESNEL

Today, Pierre and Christiane Riou saw fit to hand over control to their children, Christine and Nicolas. So just a few days ago, the founding couple passed the torch to the new generation during an emotional ceremony in Deauville. “What a pleasure to pass my baby on to Christine, Madam President, and to Nicolas as trustee. That’s happiness. The happiness of seeing the company remain in the family. My family by blood, but also my family at heart: all of you who are present or in the factories behind your screens. You who accompanied me during these 40 years. I can never forget you. It’s ingrained in me. »

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While his sons succeeded him, Pierre Riou has already seen his grandchildren take an interest in the company “The third generation is already there, mainly through an annual meeting on company topics. Your flaws, your qualities, what to do. They’ve been giving us their opinion as kids for years because Nicolas instilled in them the entrepreneurial spirit. »

Pierre was able to leave serenely for the southern latitudes, where he decided to spend his retirement in the company of the one he affectionately calls “Madame Riou”. After 43 years of work, your company has a bright future ahead of it. “I’ve been working for 3 years”, concludes Pierre Riou. I never had degrees. Never. My only diplomas, I had them thanks to all of you who made me grow with a word, a comfort, an idea…”

Self-taught, full of common sense, courageous and selfless, Pierre Riou still sometimes wonders how he got there. Listening to him, we have the answer.

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