Le Bon Magot: A Small Company with Global Tastes

Source: Edible Communities

Edible interviewed Naomi Mobed, founder of Le Bon Mago, about life as an artisan – taking that first leap, growing her business with their Squarespace website, and staying true to the flavors she loves.

What were you doing before you started Le Bon Magot?
Having completed my graduate studies at the London School of Economics & Political Science, I was working in Emerging Markets banking and finance. But, always a frustrated chef at heart! We had fun deriving the brand name for the company, which slyly nods to my background. [Le Bon] Magot (mă-gō′) is one of those French words that has multiple meanings and no specific one in English, which is why we thought it was particularly appropriate for our fledgling business. Among the translations, it can mean booty, bounty, coffers, loot, and money. Our favorite interpretation is the “hidden treasure”: not only do we want our customers to see our products as their pantry treasures, but we are a small brand seeking to unveil often hidden flavors and emerge from anonymity. So, “Magot” seemed appropriate.

Describe the moment when you decided to start your business?
It started on a dare from family and friends, who have grown weary of me waxing poetic and theoretically about recipes, ingredients, all that is food! They challenged me to put my proverbial money where my mouth is and try my hand at bringing my recipes to market my way.

What are the benefits of having an online business?
The single greatest benefit to having an online business is reach, reach, and more reach! At no time before in history could a start-up like Le Bon Magot® sit in Lawrenceville, NJ (a small dot in the Northeast USA) and sell to someone in San Francisco, Seattle, Boise, or for that matter Quebec City. It is both empowering and humbling to think that what we make could influence the way a family eats thousands of miles away. Therefore, choosing the right website company with whom to partner – one that is focused on supporting small businesses, building buying communities and presentation – was an important decision. Squarespace has been integral for us in building our own food community.

What has been your biggest victory so far?
“It takes a village!” My biggest victory thus far has been to assemble a talented group of people who are in equal parts passionate about eating and business. They are directly responsible for our early success.

Where do you hope your business is in 5 years?
In business, having fun!

If not condiments and preserves, what else would you do?
We specialize in African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian inspired condiments and culinary ingredients: caponata, chutney, conserve, marmalata, preserves, tapenade and dressing. But, there is a lot we want to do. Among our medium term aspirations, we aim to expand our range into other product categories while retaining the integrity of our original flavors. But we still have some time.

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