De Kombuys, participatory tourism

The project holder

Martin is the founder of Kombuys. Former pilot, very supported by his wife and two children, he decided five years ago to take over the family estate which had been abandoned for many years.

Smiling, very close to his employees and very aware of the ecological impact that an activity like his can have, he makes it a point of honour to respect the land on which the farm is located.

The Genesis of the projet

So five years ago, Martin and his family moved into a small house in the middle of ruined buildings and fields ravaged by grass and years of neglect. It has been a long road to transform an estate that has been completely unused for over fifty years into a natural haven of peace.

While a few buildings still stand today, the vast majority of them were unusable when Martin arrived. They alone rebuilt, decorated and fitted out each of the sites on the estate.

Initially, the activity was to be limited to cattle breeding, winemaking and agriculture. But very soon, the need to make the land economically viable and the growing number of employees led to the creation of a small number of rooms for tourists in the region. In the beginning, they were only supposed to stay there for a few years, but today they see no reason to return to the city.

The concept

De Kombuys has a lot of different activities that are very much connected to each other. The 15 employees help and replace each other, forming one big, happy family. The motto of this establishment is UNIQUE. Indeed, the founder wants to promote, at the heart of his concept, a strong and unforgettable customer experience. Therefore, despite the authorization of the construction of 52 rooms, only 6 have been built.

Here are the different offers of De Kombuys :

1- The first pillar is the exploitation of Wagyu beef, which is, for many, the best meat in the world. Very tender, the production of this delicacy is slow, laborious and requires a great deal of vigilance on the part of the animals during their many years of life. Intelligent oxen know how to recognize staff members from curious visitors.

2- Next comes agriculture and organic farming. The key principle in the operation of this farm is respect for the natural cycle of the environment.

Here, no pesticides, antibiotics, forced irrigation or mass exploitation. The products draw strong and rare minerals from the very old and rich soil. Fresh fruit and vegetables are grown in the vegetable garden, chickens lay fresh eggs every day and vines produce two types of wine, red and white.

3- Logically, the third sector of activity in this area is the restaurant business. The South African chef cooks pieces of meat accompanied by vegetables from the garden.

The menu offers two starters, three main courses and two desserts. In the morning, a copious and very fine breakfast composed of three distinct stages (fruit, pastries & bread, cooked eggs) is served on the terrace, facing the 3000 hectares of green mountains.

4- To support all his activities, the founder and his wife have built 6 houses, each with a bedroom. A tongue of land leads to a glass door, opening onto a bright, pleasant, soft and tastefully decorated living room. A large comfortable sofa, a large fireplace, a small fully equipped kitchen and... a bottle of white wine produced on the estate as a sign of welcome welcomes newcomers. Behind, a natural water swimming pool is bordered by a very well maintained lawn and a terrace overlooking the vastness of the estate. An outside bathroom offers a bathtub and a shower in the open air under the burning sun.

«Here, the customers are at home. We invite them to take part in the smooth running of De Kombuys. We take care of the domain, we don't own it» Martin.

The impact

The impact of this operation can be broken down into two parts.

Firstly, from an ecological point of view, which is at the heart of De Kombuys' activities, the farm is a perfect fit. Water is used consciously and in small quantities, the products grow and develop without human intervention, without pesticides or other processes that are harmful to the environment, the food offered is produced locally and naturally.

Secondly, at the social level, the employees come from the poor surroundings of the farm, fully sensitized and trained. Martin and his wife take very much to heart the many problems related to the high early unemployment in the region and do not make any selections when recruiting staff.

For more information, please do not hesitate to consult De Kombuys' website!