In the Maison Dandoy workshop…
Today, the workshop is buzzing: some employees are having their photos taken for the Dandoy’s Diary. After the shoot, where everyone plays model with varying degrees of ease, our content manager Clara talks to them about their career at Dandoy. For this second part of "In the Maison Dandoy workshop", we proudly present Jennifer and Sarah.
Head of product packaging & traceability
8 years at Maison Dandoy
Before our interview, Jennifer has her photo taken in the workshop. Iliass and Pascal take the opportunity to tease her by copying her as she poses. She stifles her laughter and stays focused. These jokers would need to wake up way earlier for a chance to throw her off.
Jennifer is responsible for product traceability. She arrived at Maison Dandy via a temp agency slap bang in the middle of the Saint Nicolas period. Despite the just-in-time production and the highest workload of the year, Jennifer grew fond of the work and has stuck with it.. As you may have guessed, she needs a little more to be impressed.
Jennifer likes things neat. She remembers her first day at work well. Her shift had just ended but she was still surrounded by haphazard crates of biscuits. She stayed to tidy up: without rigour, there is no respite. So when the traceability process was computerised, naturally, her analytical mind was placed in charge, and has been doing it brilliantly ever since. Jennifer is a tough cookie, and refreshingly unapologetic about her position.
The reason I was given the job of manager pretty quickly even being younger and less experienced is that I have qualities that weren't present in the workshop. Dandoy spotted them before I could see them myself.
At Dandoy, her work and her thoroughness have always been recognised at their true value. Over eight years later, she is standing in front of me explaining that no day at Dandoy is the same. Which is perhaps one of the most important things to wish for.
At the age of 33, Jennifer is also mother to two little girls. And yes, she tells me, they already love Dandoy biscuits. On seeing my long red nails, Jennifer tells me that on Sundays she is also a nail artist. Between her passion for nails, her work, and her family (which always comes first), I wonder when Jennifer has time to rest. My guess is not while there's still a mess somewhere.
Head of Product Research & Development
2 ans à la Maison Dandoy
Sarah started at Dandoy as a graduate intern, but the day I am interviewing her happens to be her one year anniversary since becoming permanent as head of product research and development. Yes, it's in her mind that Dandoy's finest innovations are first cooked up.
Sarah is a bright spark: after a scientific preparatory course for the French Grandes écoles, she completed a master's degree in food engineering and a CAP in pastry-making. In short, if you have any existential questions about subjects such as biochemistry, microbiology or icing a cake, she is the person to ask. Sarah arrived at Dandoy fresh from Vendée where she had lived surrounded by animals so it’s no wonder she was charmed by the leafiness of Woluwé. At Dandoy, she quickly proved herself to be an essential part of the tem.
Before her arrival, product research & development was mostly done externally with the help of consultants. However, since the creation of the Lab, Sarah has been in charge. She is behind the low glycemic index and the gluten-free biscuits every step of the way, from testing recipes to the moment they’re on the shelves. But there's more to life than biscuits (is there though?!). Sarah has other projects, among which: adapting packaging to reduce Dandoy’s footprint and reimagining existing biscuit recipes with flour from regenerative agriculture (essentially a flour that respects soil biodiversity).
Sarah is far too curious to limit herself to the creation of sweet treats. When she gets home, she promptly puts on another apron and makes her own cheese and smoked sausages. She'd like to learn how to make everything herself. And when she's not in the kitchen, she's exercising. I forget to ask her if she has any hobbies that don't involve always going the extra mile.
I get down to business: what can we expect in the way of future biscuits? She smiles, she'd like to retain some mystery but ok, we can probably expect a vegan biscuit for the start of the next school year. No definite flavour yet, but if Sarah gives it even one percent of her brain power, it's safe to say that you won't be able to go without.