Let Them Eat Cake

Handbags by Longchamp

Hutchinson: French Military Technology

Schlumberger-EMR: Better Oil Drilling

Cool Shades by Somfy Systems

Rhodia Inc.

Isochem – SNPE

L’Oreal USA, Cosmetic Giant

L’Oreal’s R&D Lab: Galderma

Eric Claviere, Exporter to France

Corrections or additions?

These articles were prepared for the July 14, 2004

issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Celebrating Princeton’s Many French Friends

The French have always been, and continue to be, an integral part of

the Princeton scene. Twenty years ago "Frenchy’s" gas station on

Nassau Street offered help to travelers with its sign "On parle

francaise" in the window.

In the 1980s, in the reign of Mayor Barbara Sigmund, Colmar, a town in

the Alsace region of France, became Princeton’s sister city. Colmar

gave Princeton a statue, "Le Petit Vintner," which now sits on the

grounds of Borough Hall. Last week Princeton sent a delegation to

Colmar to celebrate the anniversary of the Statue of Liberty.

Four years after its founding, Ecole Francaise de Princeton, located

at All Saints Church, has 65 students, ages 3 to 10, who speak both

French and English.

The celebration of Bastille Day on July 14 – the holiday that

represents the overthrow of the French monarchy and the start of the

French republic – helps Americans remember how France supported the

United States in its struggle for independence. For years Trinity

Church held a midsummer gala with Bastille Day as the theme. Every

year but this one, Palmer Square has hosted a Bastille Day waiters’

race, with wait staff from area restaurants vying to see who could

travel fastest without spilling the champagne from its glass.

So when France’s political choices incite French bashing elsewhere,

the 5,000 French expatriates who live in the Princeton area can

celebrate Bastille Day with the support of their co-workers and

neighbors. Herewith some of U.S. 1’s French connections:

Top Of Page
Let Them Eat Cake

The French may have invented smokeless gunpowder, but it is more

famous for products made with a different kind of granule –

confectioners sugar, used for pastry. The American kind, say those in

the know, is like popcorn. Chefs and amateur cooks of the Martha

Stewart variety use the more refined French kind.

It is no accident that Central New Jersey boasts the United States

headquarters for two different French baking equipment manufacturers.

Native Frenchman Olivier Frot, owner FBM Baking Machines on Route 130

in Cranbury, imports and distributes authentic French ovens and

equipment such as dough mixers.

Hatsuo Takeuchi, born in Japan, trained as a chef in France and opened

the United States headquarters for Demarle Inc. at 8A Corporate Plaza,

also in Cranbury. It is the USA office of the French baking equipment

company that is based in Lille, located in northern France.

On the Internet and wholesale, Demarle sells Flexipans, non-stick,

flexible cake tins and baking trays, made from knitted glass fabric

and silicones. These flexible pans and molds bend to pop out the

products, so they do not have to be greased. Each one can be used up

to 2,500 times. Takeuchi also sells a non-stick mat, Silpat, that

costs less than silicone paper. It is used to bake Danish pastries,

biscuits, and shortbreads. His customers include hotels, pastry chefs,

Subway sandwich shops, and the likes of Martha Stewart, who recommends

his cookie liners.

Takeuchi grew up in a small town in Japan, went to school in

Switzerland, and spent five years in France, first in the Alsace and

then in Paris as a pastry chef. "I was interested in doing something

in foreign trade," he says. "I returned to Japan and worked as a

corporate chef for an import and export business, and I learned how to

import and how to export. I knew it was hard to find certain materials

in America." He started this division in New York and moved to

Cranbury in 1993.

A tribute from an enthusiastic chef appears on the website: "I have

over 100 Flexipan mats now within my facility. I use them for all

style of pastries. I use them for baking and freezing as well. Before

the opening of my pastry shop, I received so many orders from the big

companies like Louis Vuitton, Jean Paul Gaultier, that it was really a

big challenge for me to keep these high level customers satisfied and

to produce so many cakes in one go. So I did use Flexipan very often."

Four years ago Demarle merged with another baking tray company, Sasa

Industry, which has more expensive products that fit only European


As for those ovens – no self respecting pastry chef will bake in an

American oven. All the good baking ovens come from Europe, according

to Olivier Frot, of FBM (as in French Baking Machines). This importer

painstakingly differentiates between food preparation and baking

equipment. "Baking and food service – we don’t shake hands, we don’t

know each other," says Frot. "We are two breeds of people."

"In America there is no manufacturer of baking equipment," says Frot.

"Food preparation ovens go into kitchens, restaurants, and big food

service cafeterias, but the U.S. does not make anything that will

please a master baker or pastry chef. All this equipment has to come

from Europe." Some equipment is relabeled, he cautions, to appear like

it is made in America, but all is made in Europe, primarily in France,

Italy, Germany, and Sweden. "France and Italy for everything, Sweden

for ovens, and Germany for mixers and ovens." The German firm, Miele,

which has a demonstration kitchen on Route 1 North does not have

commercial ovens. "You would not find Miele in any commercial

application except dishwashers."

Frot sells his ovens and other kitchen equipment to commercial

bakeries, upscale hotels, country clubs, retail bakeries, upscale

groceries, and specialty breadshops. His inventory, most made by

Panimatic and Bongard, includes bins, silos, and bulk flour handlers;

bread & roll equipment such as molders, panners, dividers, and

rounders and croissant equipment & supplies, and more.

FBM equipped the kitchens of Chez Alice on Nassau Street (owned at the

time by Frot’s first wife). He also equipped the kitchen of the Little

Chef on South Tulane Street and the Witherspoon Street Bread Company.

A small oven for the Little Chef would cost $10,000 and the complete

kitchen equipped as a European pastry shop could be under $150,000,

says Frot. Enter Witherspoon Street Bread Company and you will see a

huge Bombard oven, worth from $30,000 to $50,000. The outfitting of a

bakery this size – including mixers, dough processing machines,

dividers, molders, proofers – would cost about $300,000. Frot

anticipates a nice sale coming from the Whole Foods Market that is

being constructed at Windsor Green.

"Executive chefs who are not baking-oriented understand the importance

of quality pastries, desserts, and bread. They buy quality breads from

the outside but will hire a pastry chef to do beautiful desserts. Now

things are changing. Pastry chefs are bringing bread into the kitchens

gradually. At the Ritz Carlton for example, a very talented pastry

chef would bring commercial bakery ovens and machinery to achieve this


Frot has put a lid on the size of his business. "We try to be under $5

million a year. It is a comfortable number for me, with the niche

market we are going after. I could hire more people. I could try to

sell cheaper stuff and go after pizza parlors and smaller mom and pop

shops, but this is not what I enjoy. We are the best within this


"We are under 10 people, and as owner and supervisor I spend most of

my time in sales. I travel as little as possible and we probably

conclude 95 percent of our sales over the phone. We are the exclusive

distributors of our brands." He has about a dozen competitors, and

except for a couple of importers on the west coast, they are clustered

in the New York and Philadelphia area to be close to the port.

Frot was born in a bakery, in a typical mom and pop shop in Paris. "I

learned everything from day one." At 21 he joined the French army and

the following year "I developed a need for freedom." In 1980 he came

to Houston, Texas, working for an oven manufacturer, and he never went

back. He came to New Jersey in 1983 and stayed, though his actual

locations have changed. He and his second wife, who is from Costa

Rica, have two children under four.

Frot and Takeuchi are in Las Vegas this week to exhibit at a chef’s

convention, where the sugar will surely fly. Frot’s company is an

equipment sponsor for the first time, and is bringing a tractor

trailer full of ovens and equipment for the World Pastry Team

Championship. He is bringing 12 ovens for 12 teams from 12 countries.

"Top top top notch," emphasizes Frot. "The U.S. team is made up of

three chefs from France, and of course there will be a French team."

Later this summer he will return to Las Vegas for the International

Baking Industry Expo.

Here’s the question. Where does Olivier Frot, the discriminating

French consumer, buy his bread? He used to go to Wegman’s, because it

was convenient and "a good source for bread in general," or to

Witherspoon Bread Company. Now, says Frot darkly, Wegman’s has engaged

in shipping partially baked bread, frozen. "I have noticed that the

quality has decreased substantially so I am no longer as loyal a

customer. I go back to Witherspoon Bread Company."

– Barbara Fox

Demarle Inc. USA, 8 Corporate Drive, 8A Corporate Plaza,

Cranbury 08512. Hatsuo Takeuchi, president. 609-395-0219; fax,

609-395-1027. Www.DemarleUSA.com

FBM Baking Machines Inc., 2666 Route 130, Cranbury 08512.

Olivier Frot, owner. 609-860-0577; fax, 609-860-0576.

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Handbags by Longchamp

Longchamp USA is the North American wholesale and retail sales

organization for the French manufacturer of upscale, primarily leather

accessories. Longchamp products, sold only in upscale boutiques such

as Luttmann’s on Witherspoon Street, include handbags, luggage,

wallets, briefcases, pocket diaries, and gloves, as well as scarves,

ties, and some jewelry.

Marti Carroll, right, CEO of Longchamp USA, expanded her warehouse in

2001 to 35,200 feet on Route 130 North in Yardville, and it has 22

employees plus four outside sales representatives, two independent

sales reps, and an account analyst. Total parent company sales are

more than $150 million in 80 countries.

Founded by Jean Cassegrain in 1948 in Segre, outside of Paris,

Longchamp originally made leather coverings for pipes, but soon

expanded into other small leather articles. In the 1960s and ’70s the

company further broadened its offerings with a line of light-weight

luggage and a popular foldable-canvas travel bag.

Moving into the retail business in 1979, it began establishing

boutiques in the Far East and then in 1988 opened one in Paris. The

"Pliages" brand of handbags in leather and nylon came on the scene in

1993. Philippe Cassegrain took over the company from his parents in

1980 and still runs it today.

Carroll says that handbags comprise 80 percent of her business, but

Longchamp also offers three collections of luggage. Though she

presents 15 new handbag collections a year, the core of the Longchamp

business is in five areas: tumbled calfskin, nature (simple classic

lines with no hardware), Roseau (with bamboo hardware), Pliage

(folding bags) and Planete (a dressier version of the folding bags,

trimmed in same color leather). For next spring Longchamp is adding a

tennis slip-on shoe and a T-shirt to its product line.

Carroll grew up near Norristown, Pennsylvania, where her father was an

engineer and her mother taught home economics. She graduated from Penn

State in 1967 with a degree in fashion merchandising. She had a

traditional retail career, rising to group vice president of the

Federated chain before joining the French firm in 1995. She and her

husband, a civil engineer for Landmark Engineering, live in Washington

Crossing, and their son works for Intel.

Carroll’s success, she believes, is keyed to her protecting the brand

image. Her limited distribution policy runs counter to the strategy of

the Gucci and Fendi brands, which can be found on nearly every

department store shelf. She limits distribution to Longchamp boutiques

in New York, Boston, Palm Beach, Coral Gables, and San Francisco and

to upscale department stores such as Saks and Nordstrom’s. A select

number of independent boutiques are also allowed to carry the

Longchamp line. A grand opening for the company’s sixth North American

boutique, in Las Vegas, is planned for October 21.

In keeping with Longchamp’s specialty image, Carroll advertises in the

New York Times as well as magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harpers

Bazarre, W, and Elle. She has also placed her products in movies like

the upcoming remake of "Shall We Dance," a Miramax film with Susan

Sarandon, Richard Gere, and Jennifer Lopez.

Longchamp USA, 435A Route 130 North, Yardville 08620.

Marti Carroll, CEO. 609-581-5555; fax, 609-581-5559. Home page:


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Hutchinson: French Military Technology

With five locations in Trenton, the half-century old Hutchinson

Industries keeps armies moving. Its "runflat" devices allow vehicles

to operate even when their tires are flat, and its tire beadlocks lock

the tires to the wheel rims. Together they provide the mobility that

is critical in combat conditions.

With additional products such as military tires, wheels, and complete

wheel, tire, and runflat assemblies, Hutchinson also sells to the

security and commercial markets.

Hutchinson’s worldwide connections with France go back to 1853, when

an American of British extraction, Hiram Hutchinson, set up production

in what had been an ancient royal paper factory near Montargis in

France. In 1898 his heirs sold the assets to French investors, and the

present Hutchinson company was founded. In 1991 the fourth largest

publicly-traded oil and gas integrated company in the world, Total,

acquired full ownership of Hutchinson Worldwide.

Hutchinson Worldwide had 24,564 employees at the end of 2003, 95

manufacturing plants in 18 countries worldwide. Annual turnover was

2.575 billion euros. Hutchinson Worldwide’s principal activity sectors

comprise industrial (which includes the defense and security

division), automotive, consumer, and healthcare. In Trenton Hutchinson

has about 85 workers, and in addition to the Southard Street location

it also has sites at 642 East State Street, 84 Parker Avenue, 250

Ewing, and 106 Mulberry.

Hutchinson Industries (TOT), 460 Southard Street, Trenton

08638. Pascal Seradarian, president. 609-394-1010; fax, 609-394-2031.

Home page: www.hutchinsoninc.com (Hutchinson Industries);

www.hutchinsonrubber.com (Hutchinson Worldwide)

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Schlumberger-EMR: Better Oil Drilling

In the vanguard of local technological entrepreneurship, well before

the term "Einstein Alley" was even a pipe dream for politicians, the

company that was to become EMR Photoelectric (recently named Princeton

Technology Center or PTC) was established by a group of Princeton

faculty members. Later the firm was bought by France-based


As liaison from Princeton University to Schlumberger, William Happer,

professor of physics and chair of the University Research Board, is a

cheerleader for Schlumberger and PTC. Describing Schlumberger’s

overall activities in the oil industry, he says, "I think they’re the

best in the world. They do good things for their shareholders and for

the world." Halliburton, he says, is their primary competitor.

Happer talked about a particular strength of Princeton’s Schlumberger

site: "PTC makes one item that Schlumberger is famous for –

photomultiplier tubes – which are efficient ways to see faint amounts

of light. Very few people can do them as well." The word

"photomultiplier" actually describes the tube’s function – it

multiplies light. When an electron from a light source hits a surface,

other electrons come off the surface and create a current. A

photomultiplier bombards this small number of electrons to multiply

their effects in order to get readable measurements of the original

light signals.

When coupled with crystals, PTC’s rugged photomultiplier tubes have

many applications, including use as detectors in well logging tools.

"Once you drill a well," explains Happer, "you have to decide at what

depth you might get oil and how much you are likely to get." Exxon,

Mobil, BP, and other oil companies pay serious money for Schlumberger

to lower instruments into the drill hole for a well. For example,

Schlumberger might recommend making penetrations at a particular depth

where there are porous rocks and hydrocarbons; they would also

estimate how much oil might be there.

Photomultiplier tubes are also used in space and, in fact, throughout

physics, anytime researchers want to detect a faint light very

efficiently. "In space," says Happer, "the photomultipliers are

detecting cosmic rays through a piece of plastic or a special crystal.

Light will be emitted and the photomultiplier looks at that light to

analyze the amount of energy in the rays." He adds that

photomultiplier tubes are used in homeland defense to keep radioactive

material out of country; these dangerous materials produce a gamma

ray, and a crystal stops this ray, emitting light that is detected

with a photomultiplier tube.

Accounts of how the company began differ, and no one from Schlumberger

would consent to an interview. As for the history of EMR and

Schlumberger, the Schlumberger website says that EMR Photoelectric was

founded in 1941 by the Schlumberger Well Surveying Corporation. The

Princeton University website says that EMR was established in 1949 and

bought by Schlumberger 10 years later.

According to the PTC website, PTC became a leading supplier of

photomultipliers used in the space program in the 1960s, and through

the late ’70s, the company had strong revenues from aerospace sales.

Business doubled when oilfield activities expanded in the early 1980s.

PTC’s current products include detectors (for Logging While Drilling

operations), optical sensors, and other sensors.

Schlumberger, PTC’s parent company in Paris, calls itself "the world’s

premier oilfield services company," employing more than 45,000 people

in 100 countries. It has two primary business segments. Schlumberger

Oilfield Services supports support oilfield development from formation

evaluation and directional drilling through the building of oil wells

as well as operational support. WesternGeco, has seismic processing

technologies to use in exploration, development, and production

environments. In 2003 Schlumberger’s operating revenue was $10.1


In 1999 Schlumberger added another layer of connection to the

Princeton area, beyond PTC. Chairman Euan Baird invited Princeton

University to develop a special relationship with the company that

promised to strengthen both Schlumberger’s campus recruiting and

collaborative research relationships with the university. In fact, at

least 30 Princeton alumni have gone to work for Schlumberger, in

particular at the Schlumberger-Doll Research laboratories in

Ridgefield, Connecticut.

In addition, meetings with Princeton researchers have yielded

sponsorships supporting research in concrete formulations for

wellheads, magnetic resonance, viscoelastic surfactant solutions,

enhanced decision-making in uncertain circumstances, biological carbon

trapping in the oceans, and materials research. Schlumberger has also

provided financial support for the science and engineering component

of the university’s Freshman Scholars Institute.

Schlumberger has come a long way in its development of sophisticated

measurement tools to support well logging operations. Two brothers

founded the Schlumberger Well Surveying Corporation 1934. According to

the company website, Conrad Schlumberger "conceived the revolutionary

idea of using electrical measurements to map subsurface rocks." His

brother Marcel began working with him in 1919. "Initially, it was

pretty primitive," says Happer. "They would drive stakes in the ground

and measure the resistance of the dirt where people were thinking of

drilling – it was before the days of electricity." Later, they would

transmit electric waves into the ground that a person could hear, with

someone listening and trying to understand the implications of the


As reported in the Oil Daily last month, Schlumberger CEO Andrew Gould

is expecting double-digit growth in the company’s earnings and

revenues, based on a three-pronged strategy: "First, the company

already has a strong presence in the Eastern Hemisphere and deepwater

regions, where the greatest growth potential exists." The other two

focal points are growth through technology and integrated project

management. With these and other changes in place, Gould maintains

that the outlook is for "an environment in which Schlumberger will


– Michele Alperin

EMR Photoelectric/Princeton Technology Center (SLB), 20

Wallace Road, Princeton Junction 08550. 609-799-1000; fax,

609-897-8502. Home page: www.slb.com.

Top Of Page
Cool Shades by Somfy Systems

With about 60 people working in Cranbury, Somfy Systems manufactures

and distributes motors and electronic controls used in interior and

exterior shading systems throughout the United States, Canada, and

Mexico. Products that incorporate Somfy Systems’ motor/remote control

combination range from projection screens in boardrooms to retractable

awnings and rolling shutters to indoor window treatments. A rolling

screen at the Liberty Bell uses Somfy motors as do those in many

famous homes.

Somfy Systems is the North American subsidiary of a conglomerate based

in the French Alps that operates in 45 countries. "We sell to awning

suppliers, to OEMs, and to fabricators, but not to consumers," says

Margaret Cook, marketing assistant.

Somfy Systems, 47 Commerce Drive, Cranbury 08512. Michael

Lee, president; Scott Ionin, vice president and CFO. 609-395-1300;

fax, 609-395-1776. Www.somfysystems.com; www.somfy.com.

Top Of Page
Rhodia Inc.

Rhodia Inc., a global specialty chemicals manufacturer, is based in

Paris and has its United States headquarters in Cranbury. It was once

part of Rhone-Poulenc, and one of that company’s early claims to fame

is that it produced the first batches of penicillin in 1943, based on

a culture that its discoverer, Sir Alexander Fleming, had given the

Institut Pasteur a number of years earlier.

Now Rhodia manufactures chemicals found in everyday products, ranging

from cosmetics to detergents to automobiles. Rhodia’s major markets

are in home and personal care, making ingredients that go into to

laundry detergents, household soaps, and other cleaning agents.

"Rhodia does not produce any consumer products itself," says David

Klucsik, Rhodia’s director of external affairs, "but we are a

business-to-business manufacturer that produces ingredients that go

into other people’s products."

Rhodia employs about 575 employees in the Princeton area and 2,800

people across North America in its soon to be 19 locations; worldwide

Rhodia employs 23,000. Rhodia has 113 production facilities as well as

five global research and development centers, one of which, the

Cranbury Research and Technical Center, is on Prospect Plains Road.

Rhodia generated net sales of $6.9 billion in 2003 and does business

in 150 countries.

Rhodia’s chemical business extends into these areas: silicone and

silica products for products like the soles of sneakers and car tires;

engineered plastics for automotive components both under the hood

(e.g., manifolds) and outside the car (e.g., bumpers); ingredients for

nutraceuticals like calcium phosphate, an over-the-counter dietary

supplement for building strong bones; Vanillin, a manmade vanilla

flavoring; and ingredients for agricultural products.

Rhodia is also one of the largest worldwide producers of bulk aspirin,

according to Klucsik. In Europe, but not here, Rhodia makes nylon, and

largely in other parts of the world, Rhodia produces ingredients for


Another major part of the business is sulfuric regeneration, says

Klucsik. "We provide sulfuric acid to the refinery industry and other

chemical industries. After they use it, they ship it back to us for

purification, or regeneration."

The early history of Rhodia began in 1858 in Vaise near Lyon, France,

when Marc Gilliard and Jean Marie Cartier began producing chemicals

for use in the leather and textile dye industries. Two years later the

Wittmann et Poulenc Jeune company (later Poulenc Freres) was founded

to manufacture chemical and photographic chemicals. The date of the

actual founding of Rhone-Poulenc is placed at 1895.

The company from which Rhodia came, Rhone-Poulenc, produced both

chemical and pharmaceutical products, but in 1998 the pharmaceutical

branch merged with Hoechst in Germany to form Aventis, leaving the

newly named Rhodia as an independent company focusing on specialty

chemicals. Aventis US is located in Bridgewater and still has major

production and research facilities in Lyon.

On the Cranbury campus of Rhodia Inc. about 100 researchers work at

the Research and Technical Center, where they largely do applied

research for specific customer formulations, says Klucsik. "When a

customer requests, for example, something that will produce more or

less suds or special features in a toothpaste or an agricultural

product, our researchers collaborate with customer researchers or

specs to provide specific features for products." One example he cites

is the feature that allows the new Mr. Clean Carwash to dry spot-free,

dispensing with the need for a chamois cloth.

Last month Rhodia sold the specialty phosphates business that employs

85 people in Cranbury and 1,000 more in seven other North American

plants. Four years ago it had paid $848 million for a British

phosphate manufacturer, Albright & Wilson, and the debt service – $3

billion in 2001 – was an ongoing burden. Bain Capital paid $550

million for Rhodia’s entire specialty phosphates business, and the

deal is expected to close by September.

Rhodia has not been doing well since the recession began, says

Klucsik, although there has been some improvement recently. "The

chemical industry as a whole has been under strong economic and

competitive pressures. The recession in manufacturing worldwide and

the exchange rate between the dollar and the Euro have both taken

their toll on Rhodia’s financial performance and that of other

European companies that are Euro-based."

– Michele Alperin

Rhodia Inc. (RHA), 259 Prospect Plains Road, CN 7500,

Cranbury 08512-7500. Myron Galuskin, president, Rhodia Inc.

609-860-4000; fax, 609-860-0074. Home page: www.us.rhodia.com

Top Of Page
Isochem – SNPE

Isochem North America Inc., 101 College Road East,

Princeton 08540. Dan Slick, chief executive officer. 609-987-9424;

fax, 609-987-2767. Home page: www.snpe.com

Representatives at the sales office for Paris-based chemical firm,

Society of National Powders and Explosives, declined to be

interviewed. The name has changed.

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L’Oreal USA, Cosmetic Giant

L’Oreal USA Logistics Center in Cranbury, which opened its doors nine

years ago, is the largest U.S. warehouse of the cosmetic giant based

in Paris and Clichy, France. As shown on the cover of this issue, both

the French and the United States flags are flown at this property.

L’Oreal Group has 42 plants worldwide, with more than 14,000 employees

in manufacturing sites and over 3.9 billion units produced. One of

seven such distribution centers in the United States, the Cranbury

facility of 525,000 square feet handles more than 1,000 products and

is currently shipping 231 million units per year to all mass-market

points in the United States east of the Mississippi River.

In its search for new technologies, the center has implemented

A-frame, loose pick dispensing, full-case sortation, and narrow aisle

racking to support its operations.

One of the most impressive aspects of the center’s distribution system

is the autopicker equipment that routes orders directly to the picking

machine, according to an article written by a Rutgers MBA student,

Melisa Sloan, in the Supply Chain Management newsletter (December,

2003). "It selects the items without any human intervention and drops

them into cartons. Having toured many other distribution facilities, I

was impressed that the L’Oreal facility was a far cry from the typical

low-wage labor pool pushing shopping carts up and down the warehouse

aisles with lists of items to be "picked" from the shelves."

L’Oreal’s history, as described in its website, began in 1907 when

Eugene Schueller, a young French chemist, developed an innovative and

safe hair-color formula that he called "Aureole." He formulated and

manufactured his own products, which he then sold to Paris

hairdressers. Two years later he registered his company, the "Societe

Francaise de Teintures Inoffensives pour Cheveux," which would become

the future L’Oreal. As early as 1912, he began to export his products

in Europe. Today they are present in all countries of the world, and

L’Oreal calls itself "the most international of all cosmetics groups."

Although the company started in the hair color business, it branched

out into other cleansing and beauty products. Today the L’Oreal Group

has over 500 brands and more than 2,000 products in all sectors of the

beauty business: hair color, permanents, styling aids, body and skin

care, cleansers, and fragrances, makeup, toiletries. The products are

found in all distribution channels, from hair salons and parfumeries

to supermarkets, health and beauty outlets, and direct mail.

The L’Oreal Group is also active in luxury goods and in the

dermatological and pharmaceutical fields. One of its subsidiaries,

Galderma, has its North American headquarters on Cedar Brook Drive

(see below).

Like EMR and many other France-based firms, L’Oreal exercises strict

control over communications and requires reporters to submit

interviews for approval before they are published. This article is

based only on publicly available information.

L’Oreal USA (formerly Cosmair Inc.) Logistics Center, 35

Broadway Road, Cranbury 08512. 609-860-7500; fax, 609-860-7510. George

Blizard, vice president of administration; also at Forsgate Complex,

100 Herrod Boulevard, Dayton. A North Brunswick site has been closed.

Home page: www.lorealusa.com.

Top Of Page
L’Oreal’s R&D Lab: Galderma

One thinks of Paris as the inspired origin of such glamour luxuries as

perfume and face cream. A French label has the eclat, the veritable

"ooh-la-la" that makes women the world over reach for their credit

cards. So it should not be surprising that a French cosmetic firm was

the first to found a center exclusively for research on skin diseases.

Twenty years ago, at a time when big pharmaceutical firms were

devoting only a small portion of their resources to dermatology,

L’Oreal set up a laboratory for serious dermatologic research and

partnered with Nestle to found Galderma, a pharmaceutical company

located on the Riviera near Nice, also with a facility in Cranbury.

Galderma was one of the first biotechs to get significant funding from

pharmaceutical firms.

Worldwide, the firm has a headquarters and production facilities in

France, laboratories in France and Japan, a marketing office in Fort

Worth, Texas, and a production facility near Montreal. Braham Shroot

opened the Cedar Brook Drive facility with 20 employees (U.S. 1,

February 4, 1999). Shroot, who has left the firm, holds the patent on

the company’s signature acne product, Differin. Galderma also has

products for rosacea and eczema and is developing treatments for


For four years Michael Tuley has been the site director of the North

American laboratory, known as Galderma Research and Development Inc.

The son of a banker in Dallas, he went to Baylor University, Class of

1984, and earned a PhD in statistics from Baylor. He worked for the

Veteran’s Administration and joined Galderma in 1991 in its Fort Worth

marketing office. He and his wife moved to Sophia, Galderma’s

headquarters in the south of France, and their three sons spent the

first year in a French school and the second year in an international

school. Princeton was his next assignment. Tuley has 65 to 70

employees in 54,000 square feet.

Galderma Research and Development Inc., 5 Cedar Brook

Drive, Suite 1, Cranbury 08512. Michael Tuley, site director.

609-409-7701; fax, 609-409-7705. Home page: www.galderma.com

Top Of Page
Eric Claviere, Exporter to France

Seven years of dirt bike racing from ages 15 to 22 may not be standard

preparation for a startup export business. But for Eric Claviere,

above, CEO of JTC European Inc., that experience is part of the

unusual blend of business knowledge and personal relationships that he

will use to create connections across the Atlantic. Having raced semi

professionally in France and in Europe and been rated in the first

five men in Motorcross Supercross competition in France, Claviere

says, "As a result, I know many people in this sector." He plans to

use his relationships to satisfy demand on one continent with products

from the other.

Claviere, 35, and his wife "had wanted for a long time to have a

foreign experience," and the opportunity came two years ago when his

wife’s company, CNA Insurance, offered her a job in New Jersey. "After

all the family were installed (and that included his now three and

six-year-old sons), says Claviere, "It was my turn."

He tried to find a job, but sending out 50 to 100 resumes yielded no

bites. At that point, "I decided it was time for me to create my own

business, because I have good relationships in France, and I know many

different networks."

Claviere also has deep experience is the audiovisual equipment

business, where he has worked for the last 10 years. His most recent

position in France before coming to Princeton was as sales manager for

Panasonic’s LCD projector department, where he had 20 people on his

team. Consequently, he is very familiar with the sales networks and

dealers in France, which work somewhat differently from those in the


He also sees potential in the SUV/pickup truck business, which is new

for Europe. "In France," he says, "only five companies sell this type

of product and many people want them." There are five independent

dealers, not big names but, as he says, "little dealers who sell the

American way of life." Since none of the large U.S. automobile

companies export to France, he sees a niche for himself in bulk

purchasing in the U.S. at a good price for these five French dealers

and maybe similar ones across Europe.

The last family of products that interests Claviere is air

conditioning systems. Previous to the heat wave last summer, he says,

French cultural norms and relatively dry weather dictated that

administrative buildings, hospitals, and similar installations not be

equipped with air conditioning systems. But now a strong demand

exists, he says. However, there are only five companies in France that

can supply the necessary products, compared to 100 air conditioning

companies in the U.S. He admits that in this area many issues will

have to be resolved before exporting can be successful/ For example,

the French systems for supplying gas and electric power are different

from those on this continent.

Claviere is looking for "the good product for Europe." "Many people

want to export French products to the U.S. market, and I’m trying to

do the reverse. In the U.S. there is a huge market of products that we

don’t have in France and Europe."

Global monetary markets should favor his new business, he believes.

"The Euro is stronger now than the dollar." Claviere’s goals, as

outlined in his letter of introduction, are to "connect French and

American companies and help them to identify potential customers; to

help smaller companies be competitive in the global marketplace; to

identify new economic areas and technologies that are profitable; and

to develop product-specific sales and marketing plans."

Claviere’s initial challenge, he says, will be to find solid companies

in the United States in his four target sectors who want to export

their products and who also offer good warranties and good product

information. But if companies in other sectors are interested, he

adds, "I have an open mind. If someone has a good product and wants to

export, but doesn’t know anyone to export to, the advantage of my

company is that I know very well the business in France and Europe. It

is not only a question of buying and selling products, but what is

important for the future is developing relationships."

Claviere is optimistic about his chances for success. He notes that

for a long time there have been good relationships between France and

the U.S., "even if there is bad weather about some decision." He was

also reassured to find some solid French laboratories, like Galderma

and Schlumberger, in the Princeton area.

Although his business began only in April, he has already managed to

send two containers of ATV products to France, one with Suzuki and the

other with Honda products. Although he currently works out of his

house, by the end of the year he plans to have an office in the

Princeton area.

Claviere seems to have resolved one financial issue that could make or

break a potential exporter – accumulating the necessary cash on hand

for the purchase of products in the United States. For example, for

the two containers of ATVs, he needed $100,000. He says that he has

used personal savings but is also working with French companies that

are willing to pay the money on his account. "They trust me," he says,

"and they know I am a very serious professional." He also works with a

private New York bank with an office in France that provides

warranties to these French companies to cover their investments.

Claviere’s father is employed by a big company that manages smaller

food stores called marchees, and he manages 10 markets in Paris.

Claviere himself graduated with a baccalaureate in economics from a

French lycee, but did not go on to a university. "After that," he

says, "I was more a self-made man, not one with many diplomas. I got

my experience directly from the business world."

– Michele Alperin

JTC European Inc, 36 Nassau Place, Princeton Junction

08550. Eric Claviere, CEO. 609.716.8723; fax, 609.716.8723.

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