Having lived in Toulouse for nearly a year, I’ve been amazed by the amount of earth-conscious brands I’ve come across. My favourite has to be Capitolia, an exciting new start-up that delivers organic, locally produced food and drink right to your front door, by bike, within 1 hour! I spoke to the founder Alexandre to find out more about his new venture and his vision for Capitolia in the future…
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
My name is Alexandre, I’m 31 years old and I’m the founder of Capitolia.
My career in few words: after completing an engineering degree and spending 7 years working in the aeronautical industry, I left my job and my colleagues in order to found Capitolia. Along with my new entrepreneurial life, I like to travel, meet people and also to enjoy life with my friends!
What inspired you to start Capitolia?
I’m from a small village in the Lot department located 150km north of Toulouse. Many people in my family have been, and still are, farmers. Since childhood, I have always seen the difficulty of farmers: work hard every day (from Monday to Sunday) in order to have a decent life.
On another side, spending 10 years embracing my new city life in Toulouse taught me something: few people are aware of the impact of their daily food choices. Indeed, buying vegetables at the supermarket is very simple, but no thought is given as to how they are produced.
That’s how I decided “to bring my farmer family to my friends” and to create a very practical service in order to satisfy all parties.
What challenges did you face when you started your business?
Since I launched Capitolia, everything is a challenge, every day is a test! But if I had to choose one, I think the real challenge is to convince users that they can simplify their lives while consuming quality and responsible food products. In addition, for the consumer, we deliver more than just products, we deliver time for what really matters to Capitolia users: time to go biking along the Canal du Midi, time to go for a drink with a friend … or time to teach your children, for example!
What has been the highlight so far?
The launch of the website in January remains the highlight since the beginning of this adventure (we are at the 5th version). And also… the first customer (other than one of my friends!). It was an amazing moment for the project and a great reward after all the long months of hard work.
What are some of your favourite products that you stock and why?
No hesitation: La Truite des Pyrénées (Pyrenean Trout). Even if it is a very fragile product, the farmer has a genuine know-how, and also the production facility in Pyrénées mountains is incredible! It is the guarantee of exceptional quality for this fish. I love to introduce these products to people I meet.
Where do you see Capitolia in 1 years’ time?
I hope that in a year, we will have been able to grow the Capitolia’s community in Toulouse and also, we will have been able to finalise the implementation of our concept in other cities in the south of France.
Do you have any exciting news coming soon that you can share with us?
Every day we try to improve Capitolia in order to satisfy users. We take into consideration their feedback in order to build a unique concept that meets their needs. In a few days, we will test a new service that we have just designed: Le Garde-Manger Capitolia. It will simplify access to the food products of our farmers even more and also allow people who are not eligible for delivery in 1h to enjoy the Capitolia Market, too! Stay tuned 😉