Our Story

HISTORY

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La Semeuse was founded in 1900 by Marc Bloch, a young grocer in Alsace, France. Originally specializing in the import and distribution of high quality groundnut oil, it would be Bloch’s untimely death in 1915 that left his young widow to innovate and diversify the company. She began blending and roasting coffee and it quickly became an important aspect of the La Semeuse portfolio. After the difficult times of the Second World War, Jean Bloch, Marc and  Hortence’s son, discontinued the cooking oil and focused all their energy toward producing great coffee. In 1976, Marc’s grandson and namesake joined the company and subsequently took over leadership in 1982. The brand made its entry into the U.S. market in 1985 and has since developed a dedicated following among America’s coffee connoisseurs. It is currently available in 30 gourmet markets across the country and served in over a dozen restaurants and cafés in the United States. 

TIMELINE

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Marc Bloch (1877-1916)

A visionary from a simple family of grocers. He created the brand «La Semeuse »with the aim to establish it as a symbol of superior value and refined taste. The First World War would prevent him from realizing his ambition, but his family would carry the dream on.

Hortence Bloch ( 1883-1959 )

Marc’s widow, who would continue with the goal to make the La Semeuse name synonymous with excellence and quality. Alone with two young sons, she dedicated all her energy and business acumen to the development and expansion of La Semeuse into coffee importing and roasting, the first Master. 

Jean Bloch ( 1913-2004 ) and  his wife Huguette

Both hard workers, they endured crises and wars with persistent optimism and one objective –quality. They would build La Semeuse’s continuing relationships with esteemed coffee plantations and growers around the world. 

Marc Bloch, his wife Cecilia and their sons Victor (1988) and David (1990)

Marc enthusiastically continues the goals of his ancestors as an independent entrepreneur in order to ensure that his family’s spirit lives on and their passions thrive. 

MASTER ROASTER

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At La Semeuse the secret to their signature coffees’ exquisite balance always stays within the family and is only shared with those that demonstrate dedication and skill. The Master Roaster is trusted with this legacy, responsible for understanding how best to select the natural product and charged with enhancing it; creating the ideal flavors, aromas, and taste in the roasting process.

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This is the best kept secret of La Semeuse, the Master Roaster position is earned only through natural ability paired with experience. The goal is to always be training the next master and maintain a line of roasters. Currently the Master Roasters span the years in experience, Yves who is 45, works with Mickael who is 24, allowing for the natural progression of roles and a constant level of expertise. Most Master Roasters will have a background in baking, which relies on the same foundations of precision and intuition to combine and develop flavors, aiding them in becoming such skilled crafters of coffee blends. 

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The process of roasting appears to be quite simple, as very little has changed in roasting technology over the years. In fact it is the simplest things that take the most care, every batch is different, each roasting, each blend is unique, a moment more, a degree less, perfection lies in the attention to detail and a respect for the original product. The challenge is to find the best mix of beans to build a blend, to roast the beans toward releasing their purest flavors, aromas and taste. That is where the heart of La Semeuse is found, in a true master roaster.  v

ACCOLADES

La Semeuse is served at some of the finest restaurants in the U.S. and sold in highly-regarded gourmet shops. La Semeuse coffee has been awarded distinction by “The National Association of Specialty Food Trades” and has been praised by gastronomic columnists in such major periodicals as “The New York Times”and “The Washington Post”. 

INVITATION TO TRAVEL

A journey in a cup.

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