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Meet the producers: the Toulouse farmers who mill their own crops

Three farmers bought the traditional granite mill and now press their own oil and flour to sell

The three young farmers Dorian Biffi, Jonathan Izard and Baptiste Marquié bought Moulins de Perrine in 2020 Pic: Rémy Gabalda

Les Moulins de Perrine, in Auriac-sur-Vendinelle on the outskirts of Toulouse, is a traditional mill equipped with seven granite millstones worked by electricity. 

Perrine and her brother bought the mill in 1998 and sold it in 2020 to three young local farmers Dorian Biffi, Jonathan Izard and Baptiste Marquié.

“We maintain the ethos of producing and selling locally,” says Baptiste Marquié. 

“It worked well for us during the pandemic, as people became more interested in buying food grown and processed in the area.” 

Read More: MAP: A tour of France by local fruits and vegetables

Inhouse baker uses produce

They sell a large proportion of their crops to other local cooperatives, but the rest is processed at the mill. 

“We produce a range of flours and oils as well as pasta and we have a baker who makes bread, cakes, cookies and savoury items.”

The mill is successful enough to employ seven people including an accountant, a sales assistant, and a baker. 

They say that selling direct to the public has changed the way they look at farming, and made it more personal, more satisfying. “We like to think we’re creating local jobs and producing local food for local people.” 

Expanding range

They are in the process of launching a range called ‘Bio et Haute Valeur Environnementale’ including both flours and oils, meaning buying a new press specifically for the purpose.

Their rapeseed and sunflower oils are made very simply by cold pressing and then filtering the oil. 

They also make oils flavoured with piment d’Espelette and herbs. 

They make flours from wheat, corn, rye, and buckwheat. Their pasta does not contain eggs, which makes it very light and suitable for vegans. “The only thing is, it cooks very fast so you have to keep watching it.”

Farm shop offers variety of local produce

As well as fresh bakery products, they also make pizza bases and bread which people can bake at home, and the shop sells a wide range of other local produce including fruit and vegetables, cheese, honey, meat and pâtés, wine, candied violets, dried pulses, chocolates, charcuterie, sweets and biscuits, as well as some natural cosmetics and scented candles. 

The shop is open every day except Sunday, and Baptiste says the trio plan to open the mill to visitors. “When people see where their food is grown, who grew it, and how it was processed, it tastes better.”

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