Photo Credit: Courtesy of Marie Inès Romelle
Marie Césaire: The Black Woman Behind This Global Champagne Brand
Her brand pays homage to her parents— her mother Marie, and her late father Césaire, who inspired her to be bold with her dreams.
Marie Inès told Travel Noire that she was not destined to become a businesswoman.
She was born in Guadeloupe, a small French Caribbean island, to a family of 6 children. She was three years old when her family moved to one of the poorest cities in France, Grigny, located roughly 20 miles southeast of Paris.
Mr. Césaire died when she was nine, and she was forced to drop out of school at the age of 16 to help her mother raise her siblings.
After becoming pregnant at the age of 18 with her first child, she decided to get a job as a sales assistant inside a delicatessen in Orly Airport where she discovered wine.
“Whenever I could afford it, I would buy bottles of champagne for samplings. I took notes, studied different brands, and did extensive research about wine.”
It’s how she climbed the ladder to a more challenging position where she ended up becoming the manager. By 2009, she managed five stores and 60 people, all while being a mother of three.
Work-life balance became more important than ever for Marie Inès. With the support of her family, she gave up her management position to go back to school where she majored in business.
She left her job in 2014 with her partner and relocated to Champagne. On her last day at BNP Paribas she met Mr. Lefevre a winemaker and owner of a small winery in a little village called Ecueil, who would help her realize her dream.
Mr. Lefevre agreed to collaborate with her and offered her full hands-on training. The Lefevre family owns more than four hectares of vineyard. Over the course of that year, Marie Inès learned more about the characteristics of each grape, including Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay.
In December 2015, she released the first line of Marie Césaire Champagne: Brut NV, Blanc de Blanc, Rosé Sec.
What’s unique about Marie Inès’ wines, she pays homage to her West Indian heritage by using sugar cane, which gives her wines its tropical aromas.
So, what’s next for her brand?
“I plan to cross the Atlantic Ocean and distribute Marie Césaire in the United States,” she tells Travel Noire.
To learn more about this brand, visit the website: marie-cesaire.com.