Reading: Reinventing Because Your Brother Got the Family Biz with Ariane Daguin


Reinventing Because Your Brother Got the Family Biz with Ariane Daguin


The Covey

“I come from seven generations of restaurateurs,” says Ariane Daguin, owner of D’Artagnan gourmet foods, which after 35 years has 260 employees and $132 million dollars in sales. “I grew up gathering mushrooms in the forest. But it became clear that my brother would take over the family business and the girl would leave home.”

Daguin moved to the US which she believed was “the land of the cowboys,” where “the country was behind the leader and united and doing things.”  She says the name came from a similar belief in Gascony: “We have a one for all, all for one [attitude]. It’s the [principle] the Three Musketeers lived by. We think we are descendants of [D’Artagnan].” She says D’Artagnan products are sourced from heritage breeds which she says “have better taste and use no medication.”

Ariane’s Top Tip for Launching a Business

The biggest thing that you need to do is to surround yourself with people smarter than you. That’s so important, because as you grow, there will be areas of the business that you are not a specialist in. You had the big idea, the big mission and the meaning — your biggest asset personally is your heart and your drive. That you cannot lose, and that’s why the business needs you. But, if you want to grow and be sustainable, you need to have people who are smarter than you in all those specialties that are going to grow as satellites. So that’s the most important thing. Don’t hesitate to hire the most competitive people you can afford.

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