From world-traveling barman to On-Trade Director, Richard Lambert spent the last six of his 12 years in our Group in the Big Apple, the birthplace of Collectif 1806: our proper network of top barmen. Now back in his hometown of Angers, France, he is continuing to build our on-trade Rolodex around the world.
What’s your Rémy Cointreau story?
I’m from Angers (Cointreau’s city of origin), where I started my career as a barman. I traveled around the world before returning to France, to become the first Cointreau International Ambassador. I presented my idea to create a network of barmen in the United States—eventually, around the world—to our executive committee. That’s Collectif 1806 today. Now, I am beginning a new and exciting chapter as the global on-trade leader at Rémy Cointreau.
Why New York City?
It was not a question where to go to create a network like Collectif 1806. The United States is the No. 1 market for cocktails. It was an adventure and a real gift from Rémy Cointreau to have the opportunity to go the US and create something.
What does the name “Collectif 1806” mean?
“Collectif,” a French word, translates to “collective” in English. Bartenders, sales teams and on-trade managers work together collectively. “1806” refers to the year that the word “cocktail” first appeared in the US.
What’s next for Collectif 1806?
I created and launched Collectif 1806 six years ago. It is now lead by Emily Arseneau, who I know has all the competencies to bring Collectif 1806 into a new era. My question now is: How do we evolve our vision and skills with changing trends? I believe that Rémy Cointreau Américas’ Collectif 1806 members have shown us how to become a top leader in on-trade. So, the next step for me is to infuse the Rémy Cointreau Group with this expertise to perform strongly in on-trade around the world.
Your global objective?
Boost our brands’ tendency in on-trade. I am a barman at heart. I know that, in one way or another, all bartenders are the same. There are reasons why he or she will choose a brand: price, taste, values and his or her relationship to it. At Rémy Cointreau, we bring value to our spirits by building authentic relationships with people. All business is viewed as a long-term relationship founded upon shared passion for exceptional spirits. The result? You’ll find our spirits in the best bars in the world.
What can would say about your 12 years with Rémy Cointreau?
I have enormous respect for Rémy Cointreau: a Group with strong values where people have passion for what they do. I didn’t have a diploma, but this Group believed in me and my initiative to create Collectif 1806. They granted me an opportunity, and I believe that in Rémy Cointreau we can all find ourselves with opportunities around the world.