Ludovic and Harriet have known each other for over a decade, and they share a special bond: Ludovic was Harriet's first Parisian friend when she moved to the French capital from London back in 2009. After their business degrees, Ludovic threw himself into the development of innovative confectionary, whilst Harriet began her career in a small French company specialised in healthy, organic fast food.
Despite their hectic schedules, they stayed in touch, and a few years later, they both came to the same conclusion: we are all looking for practical and convenient ways to improve what we eat. Now a mum of two young children, Harriet knows this only too well!
The two friends were also aware that the chewing gum industry - in which Ludovic already had extensive experience - was still producing chewing gum made from synthetic polymers (plastics) to which it was adding artificial flavouring and sweeteners. It was time to give consumers what they wanted.
Harriet, as a mother to two young children working in the healthy food sector, tries to be careful about how she feeds her family.
Giving consumers what they want: an entirely natural, plastic free gum!
From these conversations was born an idea, which soon became a project: giving consumers the entirely natural, plastic free gum that they wanted. Ludovic used his knowledge of the confectionary industry to find the right suppliers of natural raw materials and developed a recipe of entirely natural gum, with a taste and texture as close as possible to that of an industrial gum. Harriet left her job to take on the management of this new brand, named Bonsai with reference to the Japanese art of growing miniature trees. These trees have come to symbolise the harmonious relationship between human beings and their environment.
Monoprix, a top French supermarket chain, was convinced by the project and supported it from the start, and Harriet and Ludovic launched their brand int stores in September 2019. By the end of the year, Bonsai was also available in Switzerland, and in 2020 it is set to go global.
Today, Harriet and her team work on the Bonsai brand, the natural gum recipe and new natural confectionary ideas in a small office on Paris' Ile Saint Louis, the calmest of the French capital's two central islands.