Discover who we are
An independent family company

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. 

Caroline Hilliet Le Branchu, CEO of Conserverie la belle-iloise and granddaughter of the company’s founder.
Bringing you the best of the sea!

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! 

Conserverie la belle-iloise uses first-rate raw materials.

Thus, the water-packed sardines and mackerel and tuna fillets are exclusively produced using fresh fish, guaranteeing you quality!

Freshly caught sardines, directly taken from the boat.
Each morning, out team determines its production of the day depending on the characteristics of that day’s catch (size, proportion of fat, etc.). Then, the race against the clock begins to preserve the fresh fish flavour!
Many Production Steps Are Manual

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. 

Decapitation and evisceration
The sardines are meticulously decapitated and eviscerated by hand before being arranged on racks and cleansed with a gentle stream of water.
Packing
The teams select the sardines one by one from the racks, cut their collars and tails, and place them, head-to-tail, in the tins. The most experienced technicians remove the backbones for our boneless sardine range.
Seasoning
According to each recipe, the teams take care to prepare the ingredients, seasonings and condiments (here, lemons are being cut) and to place them by hand in the tins.
The selection of our oils

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!

Rigorously selected ingredients

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.

Taking delivery of Menton lemons (PGI)…
… and Nice olives (PGI)
Quality control

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! 

quote_leftBased on our expertise and great motivation to preserve our resources, we continue today to create new recipes, so that the tasting of our products may always be a great moment of enjoyment! quote_right
Caroline Hilliet Le Branchu
CEO of Conserverie la belle-iloise and granddaughter of the company’s founder.
A company careful to preserve the Earth’s resources

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

100% of the parts of fish that we do not use are reclaimed for animal feed. Picture: Patrick Forget
100% of the oil used to fry the sardines is reclaimed for the production of biofuel (here, sardines are being taken out of the sunflower oil in which they have been immersed and fried for a few minutes). Picture: Patrick Forget
The Cannery develops local partnerships with fishermen selected for the quality of their work and their respect for the Earth’s resources (here: the Kanedevenn, a sardine boat that collaborates with the Cannery)
The Cannery reclaims the water from the vats where the tins are sterilised and uses it to clean the production site. Picture: Patrick Forget
As close to you as possible!

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!

The company intends on upholding its strong values while innovating and adapting to each specific market. Its objective: to offer you gourmet enjoyment through surprising products and services!
From the tin to the table, the transition is easy!

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-Workshopsa 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.

In 2018, the adventure continued, this time in the form of a fast food restaurant on Rue Montorgueil in Paris, with the creation of a SARDINE BAR, a new takeaway concept.

Our packages are also the heroes of our story!

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!

Continue the journey...

Learn more

Our stores

Our History

Visit our factory

Catering