Maille | Our Story
This is the true story of how Father and Son created L’Maison Maille.
We chart how Maille has grown from our origins in France, to be renowned around the world for our craft of premium mustard, vinegar, cornichon and oils.
Our vision remains true today as it did 270 years ago; use the highest quality ingredients and innovate to create amazing flavors that make your meals memorable…
Antoine-Claude Maille (father), distiller and vinegar-maker, lives in Paris. He discovers the amazing properties of vinegar and invents the “Vinegar of the Four Thieves” to save the inhabitants of Marseille from the ravages of the plague. His advice was to swallow a teaspoonful in a glass of water and rub it into the temples and palms of the hand.
Antoine-Claude Maille’s son, also called Antoine-Claude, is registered as master vinegar-maker and pays his “union dues”.
The sudden celebrity enables Antoine-Claude Maille (son) to market his rich range of aromatic mustards. He opens his first boutique on the rue Saint-André des Arts in Paris and becomes official supplier to the court of Louis XV. La Maison Maille is established.
Marquise de Pompadour, mistress to Louis XV and neighbor near rue St-André des Arts, becomes a loyal customer (apart from The Queen’s Vinegar…).
Antoine-Claude Maille is named official supplier to the courts of Austria and Hungary and opens a main shop on the Versaille Road.
King Louis XVl grants Antoine-Claude Maille the license as “ordinary distiller-vinegar-maker”—ordinary meaning every day, not just on special occasions.
Maille is granted charter as distiller-vinegar-maker to Empress Catherine II of Russia.
After the death of Antoine-Claude Maille (son), his heirs inherited 20 flavors of mustards and 50 different vinegars. Maille had sold his business in 1800 to his associate André-Arnoult Acloque. Today, La Maison Maille continues to offer an exceptional range of condiments based on carefully selected ingredients.
“Amongst M. Maille’s vinegars is one which gives back to women something which up until then they could only lose once,” Lawyer and gastronomic commentator, Grimod de la Reynière.
Maille’s son Robert comes of age and replaces his capital sum payment with a contract of association with M. Alcoque’s son Andre-Gabriel.
Maille and Alcoque appointed distillers to the King and sole suppliers to the house of King Louis XVIII.
Maille becomes vinegar-maker to Charles X, supplier to the King of England in 1830, and in 1836, vinegar-maker to King Louis-Philippe. Maille enters into partnership with Robillard, and in the following year Alcoque sells his share back to Maille.
The Maille boutique at Dijon opens in the heart of the Burgundy region, the home of Dijon mustard. Today, the Maille boutique in the center of Dijon welcomes food-lovers from around the world.
Louis Pasteur discovers the bacterium responsible for fermentation. He finds that air should be kept from fermenting wine, but is necessary for the production of vinegar. In the presence of oxygen, yeasts and bacteria break down alcohol into acetic acid, the chemical name for vinegar. Until then it was not known that vinegar resulted from exposing wine to air and it was believed to be a chemical process. Today Maille makes its vinegars in Burgundy and stores its aged vinegars in oak vats for one year.
Creation of the famous slogan so well-known in France: « Il n’y a que Maille qui m’aille ». A challenge to translate, it means: « Maille mustard is my mustard ».
Creation of the first Maille whisky glass. Named “Flamenco” it sold almost 8 million glasses per year.
The creation of the trademark Maille jar named “Fleur de Lys” (the lily emblem particularly associated with the French monarchy) is produced not just in stoneware but also in glass with a lid.
On the 250th anniversary of the opening of the first boutique, the Maille boutique on the Place de la Madeleine was opened in Paris—the “quartier” of the most exclusive food purveyors. As well as a wide range of mustards, oils and vinegars, it also sells mustard freshly served from the pump..
Maille launches its boutique online in France to sell the exclusive products found in the boutiques in Paris and Dijon.
New products are introduced: the smooth Dijon mustard with Chablis "1747", the Modena balsamic vinegar, aged for three years in oak casks and the irresistible truffle mustard served on tap.
Maille opens a pop-up boutique in Old Spitalfields Market in London where food-lovers flocked for special tastings. Its success led to another pop-up in March 2013 to launch “Le Drunch” (a cross between lunch and dinner) in partnership with chef Hélène Darroze, who created a series of imaginative dishes based on Maille products.
La Maison Maille establishes its first boutique outside France on London’s Piccadilly and launches its new boutique for France and the UK.