Manufacture de l’Ephémère, interview with the CEO François BOURDIN

Stories of excellence

The Manufacture de l’Ephémère is an excellence in the heart of the Loire, in France, today leader in the national tissue market thanks to a double soul: the Company CGMP, a family business that has been producing napkins and paper tablecloths for over 60 years, and the Le Bourray paper mill, the first French producer of coloured tissue paper, with a story of 150 years; it has an internal creative laboratory that creates customized colours with over 200 shades. Their products are marketed with the Nap brand, an acronym for ” Nous Avec Passion” (we with passion) and a symbol of originality, creativity and quality. CEO François BOURDIN in this interview tells about their market vision and their choice for OMET technology.

When and where was your company founded?
The CGMP company was founded in 1954 by my mother-in-law Lucienne Stepak in Paris. In 1974 the factory moved to Tuffé, near Le Mans and near the Papeterie Le Bourray, our main tissue supplier. My wife Céline Bourdin Stepak and I took over the business in 2004 and Celine Bourdin is our President.
Four years ago, our son Charles Bourdin joint the business as Sales Director and since January 2023, the company name has changed in “Manufacture de l’Ephémère”, meaning that we are a French manufacturer of consumable product.

Which were the key development stages from the beginning to the present day?
At the beginning, CGMP manufactured paper tablecloths in different sizes and rolls. In 1972 we started to produce napkins to complete our range. In 1989 we started the production of airlaid napkins and in 1998 we started using the point-to-point technology. In 2019 we bought Le Bourray paper mill, leader in the coloured tissue production.

How big is your company?
Manufacture de l’Ephémère has 145 employees, a 25.000 square meters factory, including storage and production, and 40 million of turnover.

How is your production process organized?
We are working in 3 shifts in two different workshops. One for printed napkins and the other for normal ones.

How did you discover OMET machines and when did you decide to invest in OMET technology?
We have been working with OMET for over 40 years: it’s a long collaboration. Each time OMET introduces a new technology (such as point-to-point, digital printing, etc.) we are the first in Europe to invest in that technology.

Are you satisfied with the choice made in terms of performance and service?
We just bought a new OMET TV503 Line to replace an old OMET machine bought more than 20 years ago.
We have a long-term collaboration with OMET because we think it has the most performing technology for paper napkins, the best machinability with the tissue of Le Bourray paper mill, reliability and robustness.

How are you positioned on the French market?
We are the biggest manufacturer of paper napkins in France, and our market is only French.

How do you see the evolution of the market in the near future?
Unfortunately, the market has been shrinking for a few years. The Covid pandemic and the economic crisis that we are currently experiencing have caused big changes in consumer behaviour and the restaurant industry is still suffering. I foresee a slight decrease in volume over the next two years.

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