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The normand shortbread to the Sablé de l'Abbaye

 

The origins of the “sablé” dates back to the beginning of the 18th century in Normandy. It was then defined as “a sought-after sort of pastry which crumbled like sand when eaten”. Around 1870, Littré included the word “sablé” in his dictionary, where he defined it as “a type of biscuit from Normandy”.

More than a century ago, in the small Normandy village of Lonlay l’Abbaye, Virgile Fouilleul, the baker, in between batches of bread, used to gently cook shortbread in moulds made by the village carpenter. They were either sold locally or sent to soldiers on the front.

When he died, his son-in-law, Georges Lautour, took over his business. Georges was then mobilised during the Second World War. On his return, he decided to start manufacturing Normandy shortbread to compensate for his loss of customers due to his prolonged absence… His wife, Hélène, extracted her recipe from her notebooks…

The Sablé de l’Abbaye was born.

From the Sablé de l'Abbaye to the Biscuiterie de l'Abbaye

 

 

The reputation of the Sablé de l’Abbaye rapidly extended beyond the region, with the bakery shipping “sablés” to Paris. Yet, the modest Lonlay l’Abbaye bakery wasn’t able to provide enough work for Georges, as well as for his son and son-in-law, also bakers. Michel Lautour and Michel Lebaudy then decided to join forces to start a biscuit factory and develop the production of shortbread. That was in 1964 and the start of the Biscuiterie de l’Abbaye in Lonlay l’Abbaye.

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The Biscuiterie, from 1964 to the present day...

As early as 1968, the Biscuiterie de l’Abbaye received the Intersuc blue ribbon (recognition for the quality and originality of a product) for the Sablé de l’Abbaye. This distinction of “Best Biscuit” presented at the Paris International Fair marked the time when the business really took off.

1972

Diversification into a wider range of biscuits. The Biscuiterie de l’Abbaye started exporting to Japan and Germany.

1995

Installation of a third production line in the workshops. The production capacity increased to 1.2 tons of biscuits per hour with the assistance of 150 employees.

2003

As a pioneer in environmental protection, the Biscuiterie de l’Abbaye adhered to a sustainable development approach.