Edinburgh firm selling brioche to the French

Genius founder Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne and director Roz Cuschieri. Picture: Gareth Easton
Genius founder Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne and director Roz Cuschieri. Picture: Gareth Easton
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It brings a whole new meaning to sending coal to Newcastle or tea to China.

A classic Parisian treat is being exported to France – from Edinburgh.

More associated with French patisseries than Scottish bakers, brioche is a rich bread which comes in sweet or savoury varieties, usually made with a high egg and ­butter content.

But a Capital-based company has seized the chance to create a gluten-free version for our health-conscious and ­gluten intolerant cousins across the Channel.

Genius Gluten Free’s tempting snack is now on the shelves of more than 200 major supermarkets across France.

The firm claims that it is the first major company to supply gluten-free products in French stores. As well as its brioche, Genius will also sell sandwich breads, bloomers and muffins in 220 Carrefour hypermarkets, as well as ­selected Auchan, Cora and E Leclerc stores.

The “sans gluten” products will be sold alongside freshly baked goods in the mainstream bakery section, with special packaging designed for the French market.

Genius Chief Executive Roz Cuschieri said that France has one of the fastest growing gluten-free markets in Europe, which is tipped to be worth £160 million by 2018.

She said: “We see a major opportunity to reach out to an increasing number of consumers considering a gluten-free or gluten-light diet as a positive lifestyle choice. We’re delighted to be leading the way as the first major company to offer gluten-free products in the mainstream bakery space in France, and are committed to allowing French consumers to benefit from our innovations in the sector.”

Genius, which employs 450 people, supplies a wide range of products as far afield as Australia, Holland, USA, Spain and United Arab Emirates, including gluten-free breads, rolls, crumpets, pancakes, ­croissants, pain au chocolate, brioche, pies and pastry.

The firm was set up by professional chef Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne after she struggled to find good quality gluten-free and wheat-free bread suitable for her gluten intolerant son.The latest unlikely Scottish export comes after Cramond mum Anna Louise Simpson launched a trade mission to sell her range of herbal teas to China and Japan.

In 2012, Mrs Simpson embarked on a seven-day trade mission to the Far East, backed by the Scottish ­Government, to promote her Mama Tea range to countries famed for their blends.

kaye.nicolson@edinburghnews.com