Rue Juliette Dodu in Saint Denis, Reunion Island. A pharmacist by profession, Jean CHATEL decided not to take over his father’s pharmacy in order to use the family premises as a distillery. In huge 250 litre wooden barrels, the preparations were stirred by hand and then sold in demijohns before being delivered by donkey carts.
Jeanne Chatel, the founder’s daughter, takes over the management of the distillery and decides to develop a new range of products. This is how the company’s range of punchs in bottles was created. Moreover, the handmade production being outdated it is replaced by an automated production line. In 1960, the company acquires its first bottling machine: “La Girondine”.
Thanks to its constant success the company rapidly outgrows its distillery in “Rue Juliette Dodu”, downtown St Denis and needs to seek a more appropriate location.
Chatel relocates to “Le Chaudron” in the outskirts of St Denis where it will have enough room to build a new production line in scale with its booming activity.
Alain Chatel, Jean Chatel’s grandson, has been managing the company since 1981. As the distillery’s Master blender, he creates all the new recipes. Nowadays, after a century of activity, the company continues passing on its landmark know-how and, in the same time expanding it’s locally made as well as imported product portfolio.
Chatel acquires the Vue Belle distillery which manufactures liqueurs, rum-based creams all packed in original, innovative and luxurious presentations which have won many rewards. In 1990 “Pause Café”, with its fine gold printing, won the “Oscar of packaging”.
A real innovation in punch history … A ready-to-drink blended punch, packed in 3 liters Bag in Box for practical use. The idea was simple but no other producer had thought of it! Chatel as a pioneering market leader for the last century was the first to make it. CUBIPUNCH was born and it was created in Reunion Island!
Take a century of punch, add a hundred years of passion for Reunion Island, it’s sugar cane and fruit, blend in 30 devoted people, a multitude of recipes and one intense belief: “Create the punch in tune with our times” and you have the Chatel Distillery. Two golden rules guide the distillery day in, day out: quality & innovation. A success story that has only just begun…
A century of innovation later, the company produces up to 1.5 million of bottles per year and has just celebrated its century of existence. To prepare for the future Chatel decides to move for the second time in 25 years in order to optimize the production.
Alain Chatel reinvented the standards of traditional punch in order to better give justice to the expression of the tropical fruits from Reunion Island. At the same time, the distillery creates new trends of cocktails through its new range of surprising punches branded «les inédits»: the results of audacious mixes of fruits, flowers and vegetables.
«Les Inédits», the last born cocktail range of J. Chatel Distillery, now enriched with two new flavors (coconut & hibiscus and geranium & cinnamon) have been seen at SIAL (International Exhibition for Food) in Paris and received the SIAL Innovation 2012 label..