The Nice roaster Malongo succeeds in its bet of a machine manufactured in Vendée – Le Journal des Entreprises – Loire-Atlantique

About 300 to 350 machines leave the roaster’s new production workshop every day and Malongo Nice coffee distributor located in the heart of the Sud avenue shopping center, in La Roche-sur-Yon, in Vendée. The 680 m² premises were invested by ETI (400 employees, 120 million euros in turnover) in May 2022 to manufacture a new coffee machine, called Eoh. Malongo, whose head office is located in Carros (Alpes-Maritimes), today employs around thirty people on its Vendée site, including 23 in production.

A necessary internalization

The coffee company had turned its back on Chinese production in 2016 by joining forces with the Yonnais subcontractor S20 Industries, liquidated in 2019then with the buyer of its Prodlab small household appliance business. As this last partner did not prove to be solid enough, Malongo decided to internalize the manufacture of its machine by buying the equipment from Prodlab and taking on the staff who worked on these production lines.

“We work with several local companies, such as Variance Technologies, which takes care of the plastic shell of the machine with integrated painting”, explains Guillaume Rabourdin, director of the Compagnie vendéenne de production (CVP), a subsidiary dedicated to this factory. Vendée and 100% owned by Malongo. The coffee company also collaborates with MTO Plastics, located in Aizenay (Vendée) and a specialist in thermoplastic injection, which takes care of the plastic base of the machine, or with iP3, in Les Herbiers, which supplies the technical parts. . “The plastic blocks are bulky, which makes their transport complex. The local aspect is therefore essential”, supports Guillaume Rabourdin.

Innovations for a robust machine

Between 300 and 350 machines are manufactured every day at the Malongo site in the Vendée.
Between 300 and 350 machines are manufactured every day at the Malongo site in the Vendée. – Photo: Benjamin Robert

Malongo does not plan to make a margin on its Eoh machine, sold at 119 euros, but rather on the paper pods that accompany it. “A 30-euro coffee machine is like a one-euro t-shirt. These products necessarily result from a form of exploitation”, explains Jean-Pierre Blanc, managing director of Malongo. “The Eoh machine remains relatively expensive for the market, but it is guaranteed for five years. A durability that makes the investment in the machine more attractive over time”, pleads the manager.

In order to keep the price reasonable, the coffee company has bet on several innovations. “Our model has only 70 parts, compared to 140 parts for a conventional machine. This reduces assembly time and therefore the final cost”, supports Guillaume Rabourdin.

Towards the second hand

Malongo plans to sell around 60,000 machines per year. Among current sales, a third is made for export, a third in the hotel industry and a third in mass distribution. The Vendée site will soon also host a section dedicated to after-sales service. “For the moment, we have less than 0.7% return”, assures Guillaume Rabourdin. Eventually, the company foresees the second-hand market. But for that, Malongo will first have to find new, larger premises. The company could then also integrate the manufacture of its other coffee machines, in particular the semi-professional ones dedicated to the hotel and catering industry.

In the meantime, the current factory will take advantage of its location in a shopping center to open a sales area in May.

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