Our partner and caterer Baobab Lab has resumed its activity at full speed and is currently working on a connected fridge project. Giant, isn't it? To find out a little more, we share with you our exchange with Salim, the founder.
Can you tell us about Baobab Lab in a few words?
“Baobab Lab is above all a human adventure and a passionate, committed and united team . Since 2017, we have been players in “ eating better ” and we offer creative, tailor-made cuisine that is original and respectful of tradition. We select the best local and seasonal products , we encourage healthy and responsible consumption , in accordance with good hygiene and food safety practices. We advocate anti-waste , zero waste and short circuits to limit the carbon impact as much as possible .
We combine our expertise around three activities dedicated to companies: creative eco-responsible catering, creation of events, development of a foodtech solution for better eating in the office: the first Connected Canteen, 100% Home & Responsible . (Editor's note: it's their famous connected fridge! For those interested, here is the link to their Ulule campaign ). For the record, I started shopping, cooking, accounting, everything on my own! Today we are 9 employees, all very committed. I'm very proud of that.”
Who do you work with ?
“We adapt to all types of requests, sizes and corporate culture. Both large groups and smaller committed brands. We collaborate with committed players, such as Phenix, the Goodplanet Foundation and We Love Green… And our main clients are France TV, BPI France, Victoria Beckham, Artefact, AuFéminin, Havas Paris, M Publicité, Chanel, Go Sport, Courrèges, Leroy Merlin, LIDL, Maisons du Monde, Mutualité Française, Société Générale, Publicis Groupe, Nestlé France, Accenture, Bouygues Immobilier, Dior, Carrefour, Thalès, Sixième Son, BlaBlaCar, Morning Coworking…”
Why did you choose Oé wines? And how do they match your offer and your environmental commitments?
“We have long been looking for a partner who can supply us with quality organic wine, and also a supplier who advocates the same values as us. The meeting with Oé confirmed to us that " impossible, not French ", and that our collaboration was consistent with their "Made in France" products.
The wines correspond perfectly to our quality charter: a (very) good wine, 100% organic, a committed, responsible brand that does "good through good" as Oé says so well! Eat better, drink better, consume responsibly and support local employment in our French companies. In short, exactly what we were looking for.”
Why was it important for you to offer organic wines to your customers?
“It was important for us to stay consistent. Oé is an interesting brand because it is committed and B Corp certified . And since we are always on the lookout for nuggets capable of making a difference, for talents who dare and go after things, the collaboration was obvious.”
What commitments do you make to your customers regarding the environment?
“We offer a catering service (caterer & connected canteen) 100% homemade, of high quality, at the right price, fresh, varied and 0 waste . We provide for each of our services: glassware, stainless steel cutlery, cotton tablecloth, bamboo trays, etc. At Baobab Lab, there is no disposable, no plastic, no biodegradable, only reusable dishes . And we are very proud of it!
As far as our supply of raw materials is concerned, we favor the short circuit: our fruits, vegetables, cereals and dairy products come mainly from a cooperative which brings together players based in Île-de-France . Our poultry is farmed and raised in the open air in the Val de Marne, our fish comes from sustainable fishing , MSC certified and finally, our meat comes from Normandy farms. The MSC label means that all our fish is wild, traceable and caught sustainably.
We are also committed alongside the startup Phenix , leader in anti-waste in Europe with 100,000 meals saved every day , to actively fight against food waste in companies. Our foodtech smart fridge solution now works with Phenix notifications to allow you to buy meal baskets, at the end of the expiry date (DLC), at a reduced price.”
Do you encourage your customers to eat local rather than mangoes and avocados for example?
“We are clearly in this mindset there. The idea is not to moralize but rather to play the educational card and encourage our customers to consume even more responsibly and locally . We suggest alternatives and if the client is in favor we adapt the menus. We also offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals . Everyone should be able to find their way around. I take a very simple example, I myself am allergic to eggs. Vegan meals suit me very well to be sure not to eat them when I am not the one preparing my meal.”
Can you tell us a bit more about your connected fridge project?
“Yes of course, Baobab Lab encourages responsible consumption and healthy eating in the office , and is taking action by developing a foodtech solution that allows companies to set up their own connected canteen in less than two hours, and in complete health safety.
The concept is to offer the first eco-responsible canteen thanks to a connected fridge that provides 100% homemade and responsible menus every day . Ultra-fresh menus available 24/7 for the price of a restaurant voucher. Thanks to this solution, we want to support companies in supporting their CSR commitments and offer, within their structure, a new friendly catering space to their employees, for a fun and committed lunch”
And how does this fridge work?
“This is the principle of radio frequency RFID. It is a technology used for remote controls, to open cars remotely, for locks, etc. Our fridge is smart and remotely controlled.
And every morning from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. we supply them directly to our customers.”
What is the event you served that you are most proud of and why?
“The team's favorite was our selection on We Love Green in 2017. Probably the best experience to date for our brand. Providing daily meals to artists at the Festival was a great opportunity for us to support the quality of our services: from memory, we had served artists such as Migos, Jamie XX, Orelsan, Lomepal, Dixon, Ibeyi, Angèle and so many others. I don't know everyone (laughs).”
Do you have an anecdote from your beginnings to tell us?
“Yes (laughs), a hell of a memory of delivery when we started out when we didn't have our own refrigerated trucks yet. That day, we rented a van to deliver a large client to an event. We broke down on the highway, I'm not sure what happened but the clutch didn't work anymore. We got off the freeway as best we could and waited for the tow truck for an hour. In the meantime, we called the customer to apologize for the delay we were going to have - needless to say that the customer was not very happy - and as we wanted to do it as quickly as possible, we paid the repairman so that he takes us, our truck on his tow truck, directly to the customer to deliver it 2 hours late. Upon arriving the customer could not believe his eyes. That's how we won his trust: with a hassle, a tow truck that cost us a little money and an event delivered not on time;) Like what even in the worst galleys, when we want, we can (laughs)!”