It is with relish that Raphaella Nolleau takes on the sugar-free market. The co-founder of low-glycemic index snack brand Yency, renamed Yacon & Co, now has resources for the rest of his entrepreneurial adventure. She has just joined Xavier Niel’s Hectar accelerator and is about to complete a fundraiser.
Enough to replace its “artisanal laboratory of 40 square meters” with an R&D site five times larger. And acquire a new production line, operational by the end of the year. It is the promise to manufacture “2,000 units per hour, against 200 per day today”, slips, from the top of her eighty meters, the 31-year-old Parisian.
Acceleration at Station F
At the same time, it intends to develop in France a sector of yacon, a tuber originating in Peru, which offers a alternative to sugar and its not always healthy understudy. “Stevia has an unpleasant aftertaste for some, agave is high in fructose so it harms the liver and studies show aspartame can be carcinogenic. These are faults that the yacon does not have”, assures the one who is shared between Allier and Paris. More precisely between Vichy, where the factory is located. And Station F, where Yacon & Co is accelerated, also the 2022 winner of the start-up competition organized by the Kite & Connect entrepreneurs club.
Having always projected herself into entrepreneurship, this youngest of two children, daughter of a radiologist and top model Sylvia Gobbel, muse of photographer Helmut Newton in the 1980s, did not start as soon as she graduated. After a degree in eco-management at Dauphine, she obtained a master’s degree in marketing at HEC Montreal. Six years followed as a management consultant in the banking sector, at Chappuis Halder & Co, in Montreal, New York and then Paris. “Each mission was like a micro-enterprise”, remembers the one who then suffered from “excess fatigue”. In question ? His consumption of sugars. “Thanks to a glucose sensor attached to my arm, I noticed that my diet had a direct impact on my health,” she says.
60,000 followers on TikTok
These intolerances end up convincing her that she will be more useful by putting on the clothes of a project leader. Especially since she has, in the meantime, crossed paths with Clement Poyadewho will become his partner.
Together, they create, in 2020, the brand of superfoods Young which, however, does not satiate their wish to “fight the sugar”. Thus was born Yency, in the spring of 2021. A year and a half later, the young shoot employs seven peoplerealized 200,000 euros in turnover, displays 60,000 subscribers on TikTok … and offers a name change! Sold from its website, its syrups, spreads and other “sugar detox kits” are also sold via around a hundred organic stores.
The agricultural sector currently has about ten market gardeners cultivating yacon in Brittany and Auvergne. “The first harvest of the 3,000 plants that we have provided them with is scheduled for November, and we are counting on 30,000 plants next year”, specifies the one which aims to market, from 2023, the “first French yacon syrup”. . “She listens and takes into account the interests of stakeholders”, gauge Clément Poyade, her companion in the city. And to underline “his ability to trust and to delegate”.
Raphaella Nolleau, she says she is “determined but impulsive, even sometimes a little too frank”. To let go, she practices yoga and bootcamp, and takes an intensive riding course every semester. For the time being, this animal lover, confiding “a Brigitte Bardot side”, is “in advanced discussion” with the purchasing centers of the organic network. But also with manufacturers, about white label products.