As we grow up, we all think and try to do things our way, try different career paths, see the world on our own, and learn new things. Ariane Daguin did something similar! Ariane Daguin is the founder and CEO of D’Artagnan, a distinguished gourmet food distributor in the United States.
Yes, you read it right, D’Artagnan! Daguin named her company after one of the most famous of the three musketeers, a popular traditional French heritage. The motto of the three musketeers is the fundamental drive behind the name of the company: One for all, and all for one!
Ariane was born in a family with great taste and expertise for food in Gascony of South West France. A family who has been in the food industry for seven generations in France.
Although, as a child, she always used to help her family by carrying out numerous tasks for her family hotel, run by her father Andre Daguin, Ariane wanted to try a different career as a young adult. But life and destiny had other plans for her! No matter how much we plan and set our course in life, we always end up doing things and become someone that we are always destined to be!
Even though she moved to a different country to pursue Journalism, Ariane Daguin eventually found an opportunity to do something that has always been a strength in her family for generations – start a venture of her own in the food industry!
D’Artagnan has gained massive recognition for being able to provide high-quality speciality food in the US and brought about a revolutionary change in terms of food in America. It has been 35 years since Ariane launched D’artagnan, and it has truly expanded and has been delivering high-quality organic meat to a great number of high-end restaurants.
With her exceptional culinary skills, knowledge, and contribution to the food industry, Ariane Daguin has received several awards and recognitions, such as Best 50 women in Business, Most Creative People in Business in 2014, two-lifetime achievement awards. Daguin was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Awards by Specialty food Association in 2019, and by Bon Appetit Magazine in 2005.
While cooking any meat or cuisine, it is important that meat and all the other ingredients are of the absolute best quality and completely natural. Most importantly, according to Ariane, we must always respect the raw ingredients while cooking.
Ariane Daguin is a woman who brought a radical change in the American food culture, and also has been called the mother of modern food culture! She is the sole owner of D’Artagnan now.
The Voice of Women recently got an opportunity to interview the amazing and super talented culinary expert Ariane Daguin, where we got to know more about her – when she started to gain interest in this particular field, the challenges she faced while building D’Artagnan, what keeps her motivated at all times, and why is it important for women to have a voice of their own.
Being born in a family that has been in the food business for generations, what is your earliest memory of gaining interest in this industry?
I rebelled at first, and I didn’t want to be influenced by the seven generations of restaurateurs behind me. Though, I was helping to pluck and eviscerate birds and carried out other chores in our small family hotel restaurant as young as I can remember. I came to the United States to pursue journalism, and fell right back to my heritage, and embraced a career in the food business.
Were there any challenges while you were building D’Artagnan initially?
Initial challenges would be, that I was seriously underfinanced, and I had no business experience whatsoever.
Being the owner of one of the largest gourmet food distributors, how do you keep yourself motivated and focused on your goals?
There is plenty to keep me busy and motivated: new challenges every day, the evolution of the hospitality industry, making sure our standards are the highest, new job descriptions that include having to deal with management strategy, bank relationships, logistics puzzle, COVID-19, and any other possible crisis.
How would you like to describe the work culture of your company?
All for One, One for All.
What is your all-time favorite food item that reminds you of your homeland, Gascony? Apart from that, which cuisine do you enjoy eating the most?
Anything duck: Magret duck breast, Cassoulet, Confit, Foie gras. Apart from that, I enjoy any cuisine as long as the first priority is always maintained, that is to respect the raw ingredients. It is impossible to have good food without good quality ingredients!
The world is changing slowly for good, and many entrepreneurs and company CEOs are now women, but still, we have a long way to go. What would you like to say in this regard?
Yes, we still have a long way to go, but in the last 35 years of D’Artagnan I have seen the evolution, and it is going the right way! The progress may be slow, but at least the change is happening the right way.
According to you, why is it of utmost importance that the voice of women should be heard by all?
Of course, the voice of women should be heard by all because the world needs that balance. Women and men complete each other, and a world led by men only goes to destruction. At the same time, a world run but women wouldn’t be fair either! We need to start hearing women’s voices in order to save our planet, together.
What challenges have emerged in the functioning of the food industry with this pandemic?
The hospitality industry is in shambles with the outbreak of pandemic. It will take a lot of time, lots of energy, and creativity to reinvent ourselves in the food industry.
What inspiring message would you like to share through the Voice of Woman?
Let us utilize this global crisis to create a gentler, better world for everyone, and to get louder as women!