Founded in 1932 by Georges Hilliet just off the fishing port of Quiberon, across from Belle-île-en-Mer, Conserverie la belle-iloise has been producing and distributing tinned fish for more than 85 years.
As it was passed on from generation to generation, Conserverie la belle-iloise has remained a family company. It has pursued its development while remaining loyal to its founding values: those of a family from the fishing port of Quiberon and its setting, the sea…
Today, the founder’s granddaughter, Caroline Hilliet Le Branchu, is at the helm of this family company, which employs between 350 and 600 people, depending on the season.
She has been pursuing the same course in the spirit of her predecessors while developing innovation and a creative spirit. Her ambition is to propose high-quality tinned products and to invent new products each year: new ranges that you won’t find anywhere else.
Since it was founded in 1932, the DNA of Conserverie la belle-iloise has been to produce and distribute products of irreproachable quality.
Combining tradition and innovation, the family company continues to uphold its old-fashioned expertise to produce gourmet tinned fish (mainly sardines, mackerels and tuna), while continually pursuing an optimisation approach. The objective: to bring you healthy, gourmet products with exceptional flavour!
Thus, the water-packed sardines and mackerel and tuna fillets are exclusively produced using fresh fish, guaranteeing you quality!
The production steps are performed in the respect of traditions. Not simply out of nostalgia, but because our Cannery has never found a better way to preserve the fragile flesh of its fish than to simply do it by hand.
After fish, oil is the most important ingredient, since it enables the fish to be preserved and reveals all its flavours… That is why, at the beginning of each year, the Cannery Tasting Committee gathers to taste and select the oils to be used in the year to come, choosing oils with assertive flavours. A crucial step!
The Cannery makes a rigorous selection of the ingredients that go into each recipe. It sometimes combines its fish with the character of ingredients having an PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) – such is the case for Espelette pepper – or an PGI (Protected Geographical Indication), which is the case for the Menton lemon, Nice olive and Bayonne ham.
Throughout the production process, the Cannery performs regular quality controls. Samples from each batch produced are withdrawn and tasted by a panel composed of certain members of the production team and the Quality team. This is a key step to guarantee quality in the appearance and taste of our products!
As a family company, the vision of Conserverie la belle-iloise is firmly rooted in long-term investment and in passing down expertise from generation to generation. Taking care to protect the Earth’s resources is at the heart of its development and an intrinsic part of its values.
The historical location of the company on the Quiberon Peninsula means that it has a special relationship with its primary resource – the ocean –, respecting its natural laws and seasons. On a daily basis, the Conserverie employs the resources available to it with consideration for the environment and social and societal issues.
Our everyday commitment is to select our fishermen who, like us, care about respecting our natural resources and the environment. We process various fish in observance of the season for that species and the minimum catch size while selecting the best fishing methods. To learn more, click here
As a producer, Conserverie la belle-iloise maintains total control over the entire production process, from the selection of raw materials to the completion of its finished products, and therefore it controls its costs.
The company remains artisanal, and quality is its foremost criterion. It intends on upholding these great values to serve its customers and their expectations.
Conserverie la belle-iloise also stands out for its role as a distributor. Its visionary founder opened the company’s first direct points of sale in 1967.
Since then, the network has grown to include 84 direct points of sale today, as well as an e-shop where you can find all the products from the Cannery… In a word, our ambition is to always be as close to you as possible!
In 2016, the company set itself a new challenge: to offer surprising gourmet dishes prepared using the cannery’s fish products, combined with fresh, carefully selected produce.
The Cannery thus opened the Gourmet Bistro-Store-Workshops, a unique place at the very heart of Nantes. Close to the famous Pommeraye Passage, this dining establishment offering in the same space of quality snacks on site at lunch time, the sale of the cannery's products and kitchen workshops.
Conserverie la belle-iloise continues developing new recipes, but it has always considered it very important to present them in illustrated packages that hint at the gourmet pleasures within… These colourful little tins have become today our true trademark and the heroes of our story. A glimpse behind the scenes!