During the 17th century, the Minim Brothers, a religious order, built a convent in the south of France. Since the ascetic order consumed only water, bread, oil, fruit, and vegetables, they cultivated plants to feed themselves, and as learned botanists, they also used these plants for study and treatments. In 1862, the convent, unoccupied since the French Revolution, became a hospice, and about 50 years later, a community of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, an order of nuns, moved in. They continued to cultivate the land, adding fruit trees, vines, grain fields, and beehives to the Minim Brothers’ plants. By 1999, however, the sisters had become too few to continue looking after the convent. In 2004, the Le Couvent des Minimes brand was created, inspired by the convent’s history of helping others while simultaneously cultivating beneficial plants.
The brand’s values are tradition, simplicity, and generosity. In keeping with the practices of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, who used food recipes to help heal the hospice’s patients, each product is made with an original recipe. These recipes use simple, natural, and only the most essential ingredients.
The company stays true to its roots, donating 1 percent of its annual sales to the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.