E-commerce on the farm: portrait of Marie Delaval from the Arnaud farm

After ten years of mass distribution, Marie Delaval went to pick strawberries at the Ferme d’Arnaud in Couticches. She has since developed the online store there and added a hundred new varieties to the catalogue. Waiting for other challenges.

Marie Delaval © JD P

I have a blast at my job. “If the young woman seems to cultivate modesty, one thing is obvious: she is fulfilled. Because she never does things by halves. That’s why, at just 33 years old, Marie Delaval is already living her second professional life.

Born in Avesnois and expatriate for a while in the South, Marie always wanted to do business. ” I liked it, so I did a sales BEP, since that was the logical path. “Except the northerner is targeting a department manager, mass distribution. Or nothing. This first degree, like the second – a BTS MUC (business unit management) – is not enough. ” Then I did a master’s degree in marketing and business strategy on a work-and-study basis and joined Decathlon. »

Several departments and stores later, the sportswoman is looking for a new playground, it will be Leclerc, of which she will manage, in four stores, all departments except food: “ It scared me, too many restrictions “, she remembers. And then, whether she sells car accessories, crockery or fabrics, she has fun. ” I love my products and I do everything to make them beautiful. “, she formulates. Vitry-le-François, Marseille, Arles and Saint-Amand-les-Eaux, in turn, see this young head of the land department.

Ten years in this profession and the health crisis befalls him. ” There, it got very complicated: sometimes I had to fill in ten blanks by myself. Fatigue mingles with a fading desire, but Marie Delaval cannot do without a real desire. So she puts aside her shelves and supermarkets. ” I was disgusted “, she sways.

joke – reaction

It’s mid-April 2021, and for the first time in her life, the thirty-year-old doesn’t know what to do. She’s thinking about getting back into marketing, but she’ll have to pay the rent. And then, at night with friends, she drops a friend in jest: ” I’ll end up picking strawberries at your brother’s house. The brother in question installed his farm in 2008, in Coutiches (59).

Two weeks later, Marie arrives to pick up the strawberries. She won’t leave. ” It lasted like this for a few months: I had gone from being an executive, doing a master’s degree, to being a strawberry picker. But not just anywhere, because Marie finds in Arnaud Langlais a kind of inventive alter ego. ” A friend in a restaurant asked him one day, jokingly, to grow wasabi for him, a very difficult root to work with. well he did », greets the young woman who sees in this “joke – reaction” a reflection of her own energy. And it’s only natural that the head of operations would offer Marie to develop sales for individuals.

In front of this blank page to write, Marie imagines, learns, innovates, listens to stories. To become, at times, much to her embarrassment, the face of the company. ” I’ve heard, while in a market, a customer say “Hey, it’s Marie de La Ferme d’Arnaud”, even though Arnaud was right next to me. “, almost apologizes to the young woman.

Helianthis and scorzonera

He chose to create a website – once again he learned on the job – and propelled Ferme d’Arnaud into the 21st century.and century through her online store (she talks aboutVirtual store). The idea was launched in September 2021, the store is operational at the end of December. Only four short months to go from idea to reality: there is no time to waste.

Originally, Ferme d’Arnaud was made up mainly of rare and ancient varieties: turnip, artichokes, salsify, crosnes, root parsley or ground pear… And, of course, strawberries, without which Marie would not be here. . ” So when we opened the online store, customers asked us for more classic varieties to complete their baskets, so we started making tomatoes, cabbages, zucchinis, salads… “says Marie without listing the approximately 100 products added to the catalog which today has around 170 varieties. ” On the other hand, bananas that we still don’t make “, she warns, annoyed by the ignorance of many consumers. That’s also why she regularly visits schools and hotel schools and hosts groups on the farm.

With less than a year of existence, the online store has about thirty relay points less than 40 kilometers from the farm: small traders, bakeries or florists. ” is starting to take “says Marie that she obviously does not intend to be satisfied with this.

Deploy throughout the Nord-Pas de Calais. Story of finding a playground that fits your ambitions.

Its objective is to develop a network of restorers who can work with products that come out of the ground at Ferme d’Arnaud. For the more eccentric, the helianthis (African cousins ​​of the Jerusalem artichoke) and other scorzonera (types of black salsify), Marie envisions rolling out the number of relay points across the Nord-Pas de Calais. Story of finding a playground that fits your ambitions.

Justine Demade Pellorce

Also read: Out of the norm: “Ugly” Fruit and Vegetable Baskets in Lille

Leave a Comment