Maître Philippe et Filles is 20 years old! But how did it all actually begin?
In his early twenties, Philippe travels the area a lot. In Africa he met a couple of Berliners who invited him to their hometown, where he was supposed to work as a cook in the newly founded Waldhaus in Zehlendorf ("You're not a cook? It doesn't matter, all French people can cook!").
The first Berlin winter is long, cold and gray and so Philippe would like to pack his bags and leave immediately. But then love intervened – Philippe met and fell in love with the perky Berlin brat Evelyne – and from then on stayed in Berlin.
In 1979 he founded Vin & Soleil, a wine-only shop where Anaïs, the first Causse daughter, spent the first year and a half of her life, crawling on wine crates and taking her first steps. The beginnings of the trade were exciting: Philippe brought pallets of wine from France up to Berlin in an old van. Was it the location or the lack of accounting skills? This first attempt is not crowned with success and so Vin & Soleil closes the doors again pretty quickly.
Together with his friend Christoph Schüremberg, Philippe opened the still existing Viniculture in 1984 near Savignyplatz. Viniculture quickly becomes one of the most famous wine shops in Berlin. The focus is not only on French, but also on Italian wines, since Christoph Schüremberg is a lover and connoisseur of Italy.
A wine shop is a great adventure playground for children: the now two Causse daughters Noémie and Anaïs push themselves around with handcarts, crawl over wine boxes, fill the house wine with the dispenser and play Pacman on the personal computers, which were still very rare at the time.
In 1994, Philippe wanted to reorient himself again, sold his shares in Viniculture and opened Maître Philippe (at that time without "et Filles"). Philippe had discovered his enthusiasm for cheese in recent years and so for the first time the focus is no longer on wines but on French cheese specialties. As a cheese supplier, Philippe manages to win over Maurice Janier , one of the best cheese refiners in France. That wasn't easy, because Maurice Janier has clear ideas about how and where his cheese can and should be sold. For example, he requested B. that Philippe completed several courses with him in Lyon to ensure that his cheese would also be treated properly in Berlin.
Janier Senior's strict conditions and requirements primarily concern cooling and humidity: the cheese may not be sold in refrigerated display cases, but in an uncooled display case made of natural materials, which guarantees that the cheese can continue to mature. In addition, the entire store has to be adapted to the climatic conditions of a maturing cellar and kept at a constant humidity of 60%.
This is why Maître Philippe has been selling cheese in this way, which was unique at least in Germany at the time, for 20 years now!
Philippe quickly expands the range to include selected wines, ham and sausage specialties, oils, vinegar, honey, jams ... actually everything a gourmet's heart and, above all, a gourmet's palate desires! He receives active support from Ursula Heinzelmann (pictured here), who was an important part of Maître Philippe for five years and made a decisive contribution to the development of the business with great enthusiasm and expertise.
At the end of 2009, Anaïs joined Maître Philippe, in spring 2012 her daughter Rosalie was born, who, like her mother and aunt before her, can handle the hand truck even before she can really walk! Janier's natural yoghurts and Picholine olives from the Coopérative l'Oulibo in Bize-Minervois are among their staples.
About two years ago, Philippe (re)discovered his love for canned fish during a trip through Brittany and Normandy. As the son of a fishmonger from Marseille, it is immediately clear to him: Maître Philippe can also do sea! We now have the largest selection of canned fish in Germany. In addition to sardines, you will also find mackerel, anchovies and tuna from France, Spain, Portugal and England.
In March 2014, Noémie took over the online shop: Maître Philippe became Maître Philippe & Filles!
Click on the picture below to go to the invitation and the complete program of the anniversary tastings from October 23rd to November 21st: