When told by Florent Tarbouriech, the story of his family’s rise to fame seems almost inevitable. The invention of the ‘solar tide’ as well as ‘Osteology’ and ‘Ostratherapy’ has lifted this family from humble oyster growers to the oyster celebrities of France. When Florent quotes Shakespeare’s ‘The world is your oyster’ I know immediately I’m going to enjoy their story. I know nothing of oysters – how they’re grown nor about how to taste and appreciate them, and yet I’m drawn in by his passion for ‘oyster culture’. And in this part of the world, that all starts with the Tarbouriech family.
Let’s delve into the history of the Tarbouriech family – starting at the very beginning.
A passion for life : The Tarbouriech family introduce ‘the recyclable art of living’
“There’s no time to waste. Life doesn’t wait. It’s there in front of me and I’ve always grabbed it and made something of it. Not thousands of things – only those projects that fit with my personal, family and professional needs. I’ve always been quick to seize opportunities.” I asked Florent, “How did you get to here from there with so little?”
He replied that the two main drivers were a desire to impress his father, combined with his father’s unfaltering ambition for his children. This winning recipe has allowed Florent Tarbouriech (CEO of Médithau) and his family to innovate their way to the top, transforming the humble beginnings of his father into a thriving business, the secrets of which are now very much in the hands of Laurent’s children, Florie and Romain.
Welcome to the world of the ‘exceptional oyster’ and its secret powers
The Tarbouriech empire is built on production – including 5,000 tons of mussels per year in the town of Frontignan. On top of this has been built the more innovative side of the business – in fact the innovations in oyster growing started a mere 10 years ago, producing oysters with names such as ‘Tarbouriech Specials’ and ‘Oyster Seven’. These ‘fruits of sea and sun’ took years to develop and are now as beautiful as they are crisp and delicious.
The family live to innovate, setting up ‘continuous improvement’ processes, quality maintenance systems and continually looking to diversify through new ideas. It has allowed Médithau to come up with revolutionary concepts, both on the gastronomy (Osteology) front but also within the world of well-being and cosmetics (Osteatherapy). Certifications followed (ISO, 9001, RSE, 1400…), establishing their products in the market. And on and on the family presses ahead – slowly, patiently tweaking and developing and inventing their way to ever-higher levels of excellence.
The House of Tarbouriech’s values
The success of this ever-active family is built on two pillars. Passion – which feeds their energy and ambition. And Sustainability – born of a respect for the environment in which they operate, the people with whom they work and the products that they produce. These values have propelled Florent and his company from 0 employees to 80 today. It’s a responsibility that he takes very seriously, and one that sharpens his ceaseless energy and dynamism. We climb the long flight of stairs up to his office at the frenetic pace of a step machine workout — he is dressed in a casual ‘sport-chic’ style. It was clear that for Florent, life wasn’t about taking anything slowly.
Tarbouriech – a brand worn with pride at the upcoming La Baraquette
The expertise of the Tarbouriech house, founded on its tradition of shellfish farming and constant innovation, as well as its growing gastronomic and health ranges, is helping to lend this once sleepy corner of the Mediterranean a new, high-end image. Tarbouriech products are already exported to the US and Japan. So for tourists to the Etang de Thau area to be able to taste these award-winning oysters fresh from the sea is something special indeed.
Those lucky enough to be staying at the soon-to-be-built La Baraquette luxury resort, a stone’s throw from the Tarbouriech family’s oyster farm, tasting these most delicious of oysters will be an even greater treat. They’ll be served up at the resorts glamorous oyster bar with its spectacular views across the oyster beds of the Etang.
La Baraquette – a resort close to local producers
Miguel Espada – President of Propriétés & Co – has launched the La Baraquette project. Sitting on one of the Mediterranean’s prime plots of land, with views over the oyster beds of the Etang de Thau, the villas with private pools and the luxury apartments here mingle with the natural riches of the area around them. Oysters are a part of life in this region, supporting the livelihoods of 3,500 people. The top-notch quality of the Tarbouriech range of oysters is the perfect fit for a resort such as La Baraquette. The restaurant here aims to blend Japanese and Mediterranean influences – and the oysters of the region look sure to play a pivotal role in the cuisine that emerges. La Baraquette and Tarbouriech will be working closely together, each supporting the other. As partners, they aim to transform the sleepy, charming port of Marseillan into one of the key high-end tourist destinations in the South of France, offering a first taste of ‘authentic luxury’ in the new Occitanie region.