The report of the trip through France, Spain and Portugal in early 2022 continues. You can access the first article in this series about the vegan cheese manufacturer Petit Veganne here.
After our stopover in Paris, where we visited not only vegan restaurants but also a vegan pâtisserie, a bakery and a delicatessen (see article “Eating out vegan in Paris“), we continued our journey towards Brittany. The next factory we were allowed to visit was Tyk Affinage in Vannes on the southern Breton coast.
Who is Tyk Affinage?
Tyk Affinage is a manufacturer of cheese alternatives that can already be found in numerous stores in France and beyond.
The word Tyk (pronounced Teeka) is composed of the Breton words Ty for house, home and K for cheese.
The founders of the manufacture are Manon Boucand and her partner David Vigent. Manon has started making vegan cheese alternatives at home. Since family and friends were so enthusiastic about it and everyone said you have to market it, she started professional production. That was in 2020 when Manon (second from left) and David (far right in the photo) started their business in the premises of an innovation park.
Tyk Affinage produces two excellent cashew-based cheese alternatives in two sizes. Le Petit Boucan, named after the founder, is a Camembert-style cheese alternative. Le Peybec, named after Manon’s hometown, is a blue cheese alternative. Both are available as a small tart (see pictures) with approx. 180 – 200g and as a large tart for retailers to cut off the quantity desired by the customer.
We got both cheese alternatives for tasting. I was particularly impressed by the Le Peybec and have the feeling that it tastes better every day. It’s not for nothing that it won second place, i.e. the silver medal, in the dairy category at the Plant Food Trophy for the best plant-based products 2021. Incidentally, the cheese alternatives are made in the traditional way. The organic cashews that come from Senegal are pasteurized and made into a dough that ferments for about 24 hours. After about 10 days they have reached the desired degree of ripeness.
Where can you find Tyk Affinage products?
Tyk Affinage currently sells its products to around 100 resellers in France, Germany, Belgium and of course online. The team consists of 4 people, so it’s a bit smaller than that of Petit Veganne, which we visited before.
They are of course open and looking for further sales opportunities. If you know someone who should definitely include Tyk Affinage’s cheese alternatives in their range, just get in touch! You can find the contact details in the info box below.
Tyk Affinage Values
Organic and sustainability do not end with the ingredients. Tyk Affinage values the protection of the environment in all areas and ethical production at every step.
The foils in which the cheese alternatives are wrapped are made of wood cellulose and are compostable. It doesn’t need more packaging either – no outer packaging made of cardboard or similar (see photo above). In order to become even more sustainable, an intensive search is being made for regional alternatives for the cashews used.
And finally, the founders also value their employees. Their opinion is important to them and they should basically know all areas of the company, even if they specialize in one area on a day-to-day basis.
Since the time in the innovation park is limited to three years and production continues to grow, Manon and David have already started planning a new location. Of course, this new building should be as ecological as possible and offer space for future expansion steps. It is also important to the two founders that Le Petit Boucan and Le Peybec are produced in separate rooms, as there is always a risk of cross-contamination from blue and white mold if they are produced in the same location.
It was exciting to get to know a company at such an early stage. To experience the values and ideas of the founders first-hand. And there are signs that Tyk Affinage has a bright future. In any case, we found the two current products – Le Petit Boucan = white mold cheese and Le Peybec = blue mold cheese – to be very consistent and the values of the company also match our idea of nutrition of the future.