Who are we?

A zesty encounter…

To find out more about the creators of the “Au Pays du Citron” store, we decided to go see them on their Menton turf. Fabrice Puech agreed to answer some pretty personal questions just to satisfy your curiosity, dear readers!

What is this mysterious “Pays du Citron” or “Land of the Lemon,” Fabrice?

It’s quite simply our native soil, the Menton region. You should know that Menton enjoys an exceptional microclimate that is particularly conducive to growing citrus fruits, especially lemons, which grow on very demanding trees. So between Nice, 20 kilometers away, and Menton, there’s always a three- or four-degree difference in favor of our beautiful bay! Did you know that the Garavan district is the most-sheltered place in France? Lemon trees adore the climate and give us fruits of exceptional quality!

 

Where did such passion for lemons come from?

My great-grandfather had land above Menton, near Sospel, and grew lemons there. This lemon love skipped two generations and now I’m the one carrying the torch, with the help of my wife Sonia! My grandparents lost everything in the terrible winter of 1956 and, today, we’re replanting trees around the family home, an ancient monastery. But, above all, we provide a lot of work for the passionate producers who love the Menton lemon.

It all started for us when we made our lemon and orange wines and sold them at the local outdoor markets. That was a great success, so we developed a product range using lemons for finer grocery stores, delis, and wine merchants, leading us to create our “Au Pays du Citron” brand and open our boutique and workshop in Menton’s pedestrian shopping area…

 

Everything revolves around the Menton lemon in your business, so…

That was indeed our objective from the start, and so that’s obviously why we named our brand “Au Pays du Citron,” or “In the Land of the Lemon.” We were the first in Menton to develop a product range centered on citrus fruits, the Menton lemon in particular. Traditional products that, in the early days, were made in our shop; now we work from our Sospel site to keep up with our success! Demand is indeed increasing non-stop, but we make a point of keeping production on a small scale, working with a superb natural product to craft it into limoncello, marmalades, wines, liqueurs…

 

Do you see the lemon as an inexhaustible creative resource?

Yes, absolutely. The Menton lemon is perfect for everything edible: salty and savory, sweet, preserves, marmalades, pastries, candies… It adds a fresh and flavorful touch to all our creations! It’s also a powerful ingredient in cosmetics and soaps, we have a secret plan to come out with a beauty and well-being product range very soon… but shhhh….don’t tell!

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