The theme of the evening at Club de la Chasse et de la Nature, was the crowning of a very long working life, that of Jean Bissonnet, who started as a young butcher in Paris at 18 and is now, at 87, at the head of an empire of real estate, butcher shops and a shooting paradise near Orléans, called Domaine de l’Etoile. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by Henri de Castries, President for Europe of General Atlantic, and a shooting companion of his sons and grandson, Jean Baptiste.
It is a perfect French success story and former minister François Baroin was listening with attention to the adventure led by this son of a horse butcher, in the Loiret. He was born in Briare in 1929 at a time when hauling horses were still used along the river, rabbit skins were sold for coats and peach pitts were used to make liquor.
Sent to Paris on a bicycle to learn his art, Jean Bissonnet met the daughter of a butcher from Gien and started a business in Suresnes, Les Boucheries Nivernaises, and a large family. He moved his headquarters to Faubourg Saint Honoré in 1959.
He now has four great grand children and a multi million business run by his two sons Bernard and Michel. He has been the purveyor of the Elysée Palace for fifty years and President Macron’s chef, Guillaume Gomez, was present. In 1975, Boucheries nivernaises flew meat to both Iran and Saudi Arabia every week! It now still sells excellent game in season and top meats. The group provides merchandise from their large workshop in l’Hay les Roses to top restaurants and hotels in Paris.
The beautiful 17 th century Hôtel de Guénégaud which houses the Club de la Chasse, was a good image of the Bissonnet family’s social ascension.
It is one of the chickest and most elitist clubs in the Marais, where people who shoot and hunt meet up during the week. The place is lavishly decorated and its garden was the stage of a fantastic buffet dinner with pâtés from Gilles Verot, cheese by Bernard Antony, Bigorre ham by Patrick Escudé and desserts by Maison Mulot.
In both speeches, the accent was put on family values, getting up early and working 100 hours a week (far from th 35 hours installed by Mitterrand). And happiness was visible on the face of all members of this large family, including two tiny babies born this summer. The Bissonnet a true French success story !
(Boucheries Nivernaises, 99 faubourg Saint Honoré)
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