Jean chatel, chemist by profession, decided not to take over his father’s pharmacy for family reasons. This is how he became the founder of the current distillery at the beginning of the century in 1907.
However, the distillery was only one of the different occupations that J. Chatel carried out. At the same time or successively an entrepreneur and a politician, he directed the Rivière du Mât factory and was an administrator for the Rhumerie du Bourbier. He was also president of the general Council of Reunion, president of the Chamber of commerce and finally mayor of Saint Denis during 20 years.
Jean Chatel gained the nickname “Papa Chatel” thanks to his social accomplishments achieved as the mayor of Saint Denis. In 1930, he became president of the Reunion sports federation until 1937.
With the support of his children Rémy, Jeanne and Gaston, he invested the local insurance market and created “La Préservatrice”.
Jean Chatel died in his office at Saint Denis city hall on the 27th of April 1948. After his death, Chatel maintained its two activities of the family-run business: the distillery and the insurance company which both have kept on expanding until nowadays. As a tribute, one of St Denis’ main streets was named after him.
Born in 1949, Alain Chatel witnessed most of his grandfather’s accomplishments. After his baccalaureate, he decides to study business management in order to follow Jean Chatel’s footsteps. He joins the distillery in 1973 and learns all the aspects of the company’s activity.
In 1981, he takes over the management of the distillery. Trained by master blenders, he always keeps with him his grandfather’s recipe book while constantly creating new mixes and sharing his passion and know how.
Very Linked to Reunion and its heritage, Alain Chatel gets his inspiration from local fruits to imagine new products and new flavors. Aware that a company must always be reactive in a perpetually evolving market, he is particularly attentive to new ways of consumption. With his impulse the company diversifies its product portfolio and opens up to export market opportunities.