Géraldine Le Garrec
Working at Rémy Cointreau since: December 2016
Current position: Commercial and Marketing Director, Domaine des Hautes Glaces
Based in: Grenoble, France
3 key skills to work in your team: being passionate because it is always easier when you believe deeply in something, being authentic and having a sense of teamwork.
Your position as a sales and marketing director
What does your job involve on a daily basis?
My title is quite corporate and classic, when in fact I represent a profession with a completely different reality, that of a brandy and spirits producing estate.
My main missions are to manage as best as possible the development of the Domain which is changing scale. First of all with the new site in which we are (new distillery, new tour, new capacity) and the organization of the growing team. There is also the commercial aspect where our ambition is to go to the international export. Finally, there is a communication dimension: we must talk about everything that has been done since Frédéric founded the Domaine more than 10 years ago. We want to talk about his very pioneering work, our vision and our future ambitions.
Domaine des Hautes Glaces, founded in 2009, joined the Rémy Cointreau Group in 2017. What is this unique project within the Group and what are its next challenges?
Since the Domaine des Hautes Glaces joined the group, the first 4 years were dedicated to the change of site with investments in production, especially in the construction of the new distillery. I started in August 2021, at the end of this development sequence. Now we are entering the development of the Domaine in France and on new international markets.
The Domaine is often described as a pioneer: when it was created, making an organic whisky produced in France was avant-garde. This agro-ecological approach can continue to play a pilot role within the Group and inspire other brands.
The Domaine therefore has 3 major challenges today:
– A communication challenge: say it louder and higher. This is what has been done for over 10 years and what will be done for the next 10 years.
– A distribution challenge: consolidate our position as an organic distributor in France and abroad.
– A challenge of transformation and innovation, particularly in the production of our spirits by further developing our ecological methods.
Your journey within our spirits brands
How did your Rémy Cointreau story begin?
In 2006, I did a V.I.E (French program that grants young professionals job opportunities abroad) in Brazil with an international car manufacturer. While it was an unforgettable experience, it wasn’t long until I realized the necessity to believe in the product I worked for. Upon completing my V.I.E, I knew I wanted a job in an industry I was passionate about.
I sent an application to Rémy Cointreau for a CDD (fixed-term contract). Not only was the idea of working with Rémy Cointreau —a family-owned business with an international scope— very interesting to me, but I was also attracted by the Group portfolio of premium brands, which I felt truly showcased the excellence of French culture and savoir-faire worldwide. The size of the company was also an asset: it wasn’t an international monstrosity, enabling agility, while being more people-centric. I worked with Rémy Martin, Passoâ and Cointreau during my several years in the Paris office, and then came the Bruichladdich and The Botanist Gin opportunities!
Why did you specialize in our Bruichladdich, Westland and Domaine des Hautes Glaces whisky brands?
My Maltese journey continued with the creation of our Whisky Business Unit. I have become a true whisky enthusiast and the opportunity to work at Westland (our American single malt distillery, based in Seattle) and then at the Estate suited my vision. I am also motivated by being the link between these distilleries within the Group. I don’t feel like I’ve been working in the Group for more than 15 years so varied and true are the missions: we are committed to integrating the distilleries into the Group while protecting what makes their DNA.
Thanks to whisky, I have (re)discovered the importance of working for a Domain. When I worked for Cointreau, it was a brand first and foremost. Here, I joined a distillery, a producer, an ecosystem. We work on agricultural products and for passionate customers, that’s what I find stimulating.
Nevertheless, I like all types of spirits: I loved working on Cointreau, on The Botanist and now on whisky which is a bottomless pit of riches. Beyond whisky brands, it is a collective of men and women who speak of terroir and cultures. My job is to promote cultures, because each of our products is unique. Finally, our whisky brands embody sharing and conviviality.
Your internal mobility within the company
How did Rémy Cointreau help you with the transition?
First, I had a discussion with Human Resources in Paris before embarking on the adventure at Bruichladdich. Then I went to Scotland to interview with the team there. It wasn’t the traditional type of interview you might expect. The interview was obviously about the mission, but it was more about making sure the personalities were compatible. It was about taking the time to meet and get to know each other, and it all started from there.
Every time I changed jobs and countries, the Talent team encouraged me to discuss it with my family before I was interested in the job: it was probably the best advice I was given.
My move from Bruichladdich to Westland was also made possible by the supportive managers. In general, it’s all about the people. The managers are open to this kind of discussion to help us achieve our goals and offer us opportunities for development. But also, you have to know how to take things into your own hands and not wait for someone to hand you a mobility opportunity on a plate. Be the master of your destiny!
Advice for other professionals seeking to move abroad?
You have to be curious and a risk-taker. To be successful, moves abroad should not jeopardize family and personal life for only a career step. While I was up for a new professional challenge, moving to Scotland was a family decision.
Why should a candidate apply to Rémy Cointreau?
Because it is an ideal size for a company: we are both in a family business where the long term counts and we are also challenged by the concern for results. Our companies are rooted in their territory while being international. Our values of Terroir, People and Time are embodied by everyone, with benevolence and rigor. My career proves it: there are many things to do in the Group.