Recently, Cédric Moulin became Managing Director of La Ressource. Over the years, this experienced entrepreneur developed a great motivation to contribute to the development of an alternative economy. Having previously worked at La Ressource for a year, providing his expertise, training the teams and introducing efficient management tools, he knows the cooperative like the back of his hand. In this interview, he tells us about his career, his dreams and his ambitions for the cooperative.
Can you tell us a bit about your entrepreneurial background? Who is Cédric Moulin?
I am actually a converted retail professional. After many international experiences in retail, fashion and sports and managing several shops (Carrefour, PUMA, VF), I ended up in Belgium (I am French, originally from Aix-en-Provence), where I decided to reinvent myself. I attended three years of professional coaching training at the BAO, which gave a new direction to my career and allowed me to deepen my knowledge of myself and the way I interact with others.
I coached several companies and felt the need to focus on brands that support responsible trade and local actors. - Cédric Moulin
For example, I coached Färm, where I trained 220 people, and where we ended up opening our organic shop, Färm Mont-Saint-Jean, as a branch at the very beginning of the lockdown. This experience taught me to integrate collective intelligence and participatory governance into enterprises, to give meaning to them and express our fundamental values. It is with this double hat of coach-trainer and entrepreneur that I had my first professional contact with the La Ressource team, which was in full expansion after the first fundraising with LITA. These two initial missions allowed me to understand the challenges and pluses of the new socially responsible business model which is La Ressource.
Why did you accept to take over the management of La Ressource?
La Ressource appealed to me because of its local and sustainable dimension, both good for our health as well as for the environment. These values have been my leitmotiv since I chose to prefer working with unquoted brands that have to a long-term vision and are socially responsible. To join the cooperative and take over its management, it was necessary to review the financial plan and use of resources to achieve a balance, the basis for sustainable development. It became clear that a more experienced board, a clear and structured modus operandi, real team cohesion, and the expansion of activity to five shops were necessary to achieve this balance. This also meant continued funding for the project to enable it to achieve its long-term goals.
My background and my various experiences, especially in times of crisis, are an undeniable asset. The difficulties I have encountered in business have shaken me firmly, but have also made me grow! - Cédric Moulin
Knowing the codes to be able to twist them, creating new ways of doing business and working together, guiding La Ressource on the long term, that is the challenge I have decided to take on as Managing Director since 1 July. Since 14 July, I have also been administrator of La Ressource.
What is La Resource's ambition?
I see three, like a kind of 3-in-1:
That bulk, zero waste, local and organic become a reflex of every citizen when buying non-food products. From this point of view, our collaboration with The Barn (our three shops are next to each other) is an ideal synergy.
Another objective is to extend a helping hand to those who are not yet familiar with zero waste, by guiding them with tailor-made advice: step by step, without any dogmas, with kind-heartedness, so that this transition runs smoothly and takes place over time.
Finally, and this is where our whole story begins, we are driven every day by our love for our artisans and their products: our ambition is to make these artisans known and appreciated. It is our way of making our customers choose healthy and ecological products they value.
What is the number of FTEs at La Resource? And the number of suppliers?
We have put all the pieces of the puzzle together at La Resource and our organisation has become extremely lean. Instead of speaking in FTEs as in many companies, I choose to speak in people: we have 3 great shop managers, Fel', Soph' and Cléa, a team of 4 to 6 students, 1 of whom, Kaout, has been with us for several years, 1 polyvalent person in back office and sales, Marilou, and me, who is the manager and performs a lot of other duties, as in all small structures. Nasta, who is a managing together with me, is not paid for her work.
No one works full-time at La Resource, and we encourage our team members to have their own activities, both private and professional.
We have dozens of suppliers, many of which are small, and 12 that stand out (they account for more than half of our turnover): 4 are from Brussels and make all their products in Brussels, including 1 at 500m from our shop in Jette; 10 of the 12 are Belgian (from the 3 Regions), 1 is French and 1 is German. We have no suppliers outside Europe.
What do you expect from your cooperators?
First, patience: game-changing projects are rarely perfect overnight. Second, and this is very important to us, our cooperators must be our ambassadors. I invite them all to talk about us in their circles, to visit us with their friends and family, to tip the press about our project.... And if there are people with skills that can help us, please notify us!
We're not only expecting things, we're also giving. All cooperators get a 10% discount on their purchases at the counter ;)!
Are there any plans to expand to Flanders in the future or do you have Flemish suppliers?
Yes, we have suppliers in Flanders, and many Flemish customers who are eager to finally have shops like ours in their neighbourhoods. We are currently developing in clusters, and the idea is to have a strong presence in Brussels first, then in Walloon Brabant or around Brussels, before moving on. The market has to be ready, and entering a new market also requires additional resources :-)
Anything else you would like to share with us?
We are looking for candidates for student jobs, internships and we are looking for good locations for our fourth and fifth shops. If you know anyone who might be interested, please let us know!
By investing in La Ressource, you can benefit from the Tax Shelter, a tax reduction of 45% of the amount invested 👉 Click here for more information and to invest.