Vivin: the delicatessen showcasing French know-how in Thailand23-09-2016
Nicolas Vivin launched his brand in Thailand two and a half years ago. He explains how his shop came to fruition and how he has tailored his retail offer to the market.
Originally from Roanne in the Loire, and in his thirties, Vivin made his foray in fine foods during an internship at Troisgros. He then went on to catering college in Lausanne where one of his placements was at Bangkok’s famous Oriental Hotel. Seduced by life in Thailand, he made the decision a few years later to return and make it his home. Initially working in the hotel and catering business, he is now an entrepreneur.
Since November 2013, he has his own delicatessen located in central Bangkok. Nicolas Vivin and his wife started out by selling foie gras, one of France’s most iconic food products. “It was going really well”, he said. As a result, Nicolas and his wife launched their own business and began making their first foie gras from their own home. Only 12 months down the line, the success of this commercial venture was the catalyst for opening their own store.
French savoir-faire adapts to local cuisine
Vivin sells gourmet fare from around the world, and specialises in French and local produce. It is undoubtedly this mix of culinary cultures that has been the making of the business.
“The foie gras I make is “cru”, meaning raw, and imported from France, but I source fleur de sel locally. The pepper we stock is from Thailand or Cambodia and has a PGI*. We source cheese in Thailand. I opt for a good mix to be able to offer top quality products,” explains Nicolas Vivin.
More than French produce, it is the “Made in France” savoir-faire that this young entrepreneur is selling, using knowledge gleaned from top chefs, notably Paul Bocuse, for whom he once worked. For him, “the quality, reputation, luxury image and originality of the products, attention to detail and refined flavours” are the major strengths of the French brand.
Pioneer of a new, luxury take on “glocal”
Nicolas Vivin foresees the future while working on current trends. And with Thailand’s wine market still in its infancy, local consumers are in search of foods that pair well with wine, which is the reason why the deli owner is supporting local eating habits. Making smaller cans of foie gras is just one of the changes he has introduced.
Another major trend is promoting local produce to reflect their integration into local eating habits. For Nicolas Vivin, the future is very much “glocal”. It’s a halfway house between what we know as “global” and “local” marketing. It’s about developing a global strategy while always adapting to the local market. “The aim is to be a leader or pioneer with a luxury profile. I believe it only makes sense to work with the local economy and those around us.” His mango foie gras is one of the finest examples of these flavour combinations.
While keen to open stores in Singapore and Hong Kong in the months to come, Nicolas Vivin also wants to continue to grow his business in Thailand, with one guiding principal in mind: “to have the courage to change what we think is perfect.”
*Protected Geographical Origin
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For further information :
Official website : Vivin
Address of the shop:
Central Food Hall at Central Chidlom