beverages since 1921
Founded in Morteau, France, in 1921, the Rième family have become past masters in the art of the artisanal production of syrups and limonades. Their secret? A healthy dose of respect for traditions and authenticity.
For nearly a century, artisanal savoir-faire and original production methods have been rigorously passed down from father to son in the Rième family.
In the beginning of the 1920s, Marcel-Alcide and Adrien, childhood friends and brothers-in-law, dreamed of becoming artisans and owning their own limonaderie (limonade workshop). Although barely in their twenties, they were motivated, ambitious and hardworking. With the support of their families, they were able purchase an inactive limonaderie, create Maison Rième-Bouhéret, and set about making artisanal limonades and syrups. When Adrien left to become a butcher, Marcel-Alcide took over the enterprise and slowly but surely perfected what would become the family craft. Natural lemon-lime flavors, high quality sugar melted on site and filtered water at exactly 11°C (51.8°F) combine to make a tart, refreshing limonade with just the right amount of fizz: 100 years later, the original recipe remains as popular as ever.
Today, Rième’s limonades and syrups are lovingly crafted by the 4th generation according to the original recipes…allowing us a glimpse of authentic flavors from another era.
From the beginning, the limonaderie’s devotion to reliable quality helped distinguish it from other local producers. How do you make a great limonade every time? They say the devil’s in the details, and the two young men really took that saying to heart. The syrup base for the limonade, made from high quality sugar and sterilized water, was made in the workshop using a 5-foot tall copper tun called a sirogène. The sugar passes slowly through two strainers and a filter, dissolving into the water with the help of gravity. The syrup thus created is of perfect density, constant and without clumps. It sounds easy, but in order guarantee a perfect result, constant attention must be paid to the process. Rième and Bouhéret were also the only producers who used sterilized water, a gage of quality at a time period when potable water was not always easily accessible. In order to meet the ever-growing demands for syrups and limonades, the sirogène would be launched for a month of production non-stop, and Marcel-Alcide would get up in the middle of the night to refill the machine. After a month, production stopped, the sirogène underwent a rigorous cleaning, Marcel-Alcide got some well-deserved rest – and then it started all over again.
By developing a precise formula and using it religiously every time, the two young limonadiers were able to quickly develop their production capacity and set the foundations for a successful business!
to flavoring syrups!
The two young associates were not afraid of hard work: during the long summer days, they worked from dawn until dusk, never counting their hours. They rested in the winter time, when the precious hours of natural light were much shorter and clients were less interested in refreshing limonades. But during the summer, the work was never done, and they turned out impressive quantities of limonades, raspberry soda (Marcel-Alcide’s favorite flavor), and lemon, mint and grenadine syrups.
during the war…
The Second World War turned everyone’s lives upside down…but in spite of everyday difficulties, rationing and requisitions, the limonaderie kept on working, carried through by Marcel-Alcide’s tenacity and dedication. During this complicated period, everyone had to get a bit creative and find ways around new obstacles. When sugar got short, due to rationing, Rième developed new recipes based on saccharine in order to continue to supply their customers with limonades and syrups. And their customers resorted to old-fashioned ways of picking up goods, lining up with horse buggies and wheel barrows in front of the limonaderie!
mineral waters, with Jean
While limonade and syrup sales continued to develop, Jean Rième (now the head of Rième-Bouhéret) decided to take advantage of the rise in popularity of mineral waters to diversify, and started distributing bottled water. At the time, bottled mineral water was becoming popular and a great deal of information was published on its benefits for general health. Between 1950 and 1960, public consumption of bottled water grew at an astounding rate of 10% per year (liters per inhabitant)! Through its distribution of bottled water, and eventually other drinks as well, Rième-Bouhéret was able to take full advantage of the post-war boom.
Didier took over the reins of the limonaderie in 1981, a year full of social and political upheaval in France. The new social rules and regulations are difficult to apply to a small family company, where everyone is used to simply pitching in and working until the work is done. With the arrival of supermarkets and the proliferation of plastic packaging, modes of consumption were also changing dramatically. Despite all the changes, Didier insisted on continuing to produce the same high quality limonades and syrups that had made the reputation of the Maison. However, he did update the equipment and modernize certain processes, in order to respond to the increasing order quantities, always keeping in mind the respect for artisanal limonades and the expectations of his traditional customers. Thanks to the hard work done during his tenure, Rième Boissons was able to adapt and move forward into the 21st century with its head held high.