“Chiche is like the French word for chickpea – pois chiche – but as a verb it also means ‘to dare’. And we were two girls setting up our company, daring to make it in the world of business,” marketing officer for the start-up Coralie Honajzer explained.
It was a dare that seems to have paid off - Chiche now counts five employees and has began producing in its own, recently-
built industrial kitchen in Lyon.
Roasted and flavoured chickpeas sourced from the south-west of France, it has a range of flavours including Mediterranean herbs, sesame & sea salt and mustard & rosemary.
“My business partner was an agronomist engineer and she worked with farmers who grew pulses because it’s important for the soil but it was a ‘closed market’ for them – they couldn’t really sell the pulses. People don’t eat pulses because they take so long to cook and they’re not very ‘fancy’ or ‘sexy’. So we decided to create a fun product to eat with drinks.”
Chiche manufactures an average of 10,000 units a month, selling throughout France in stores, organic food shops and online at €3 per pack.
The next step is to develop into other pulse ingredients, such as lentils and beans, Honajzer said.