This is the fourth episode of “The recipe for my success” of my collaboration with the economic luxury magazine BILAN. I have met Peter Rebeiz, CEO and president of Caviar House & Prunier. This interview is fully in French. Mr Rebeiz, who has revived the luxury food industry in Europe, reveals to me his passion for caviar, music and entrepreneurship. He also mentions his meeting with the founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival, Claude Nobs, a turning point in his private and professional life. Everything in this 5 minutes video interview.
Pour ce quatrième épisode de “La recette de mon succès”, Xenia Tchoumitcheva a rencontré Peter Rebeiz, CEO et président de Caviar House & Prunier. Celui qui a relancé l’industrie alimentaire de luxe en Europe raconte comment est née sa passion pour le caviar, la musique et l’entrepreneuriat. Il évoque également sa rencontre avec le fondateur du Montreux Jazz Festival Claude Nobs, un véritable tournant dans sa vie privée et professionnelle. Découvrez l’interview vidéo ci-dessus.
My Formula For Success: Peter G. Rebeiz, Caviar House and Prunier
Xenia Tchoumitcheva: We are here at Montreux Jazz Café with Peter Rebeiz.
Peter Rebeiz: Bonjour.
Xenia Tchoumitcheva: It is a pleasure to have you here, Peter. You are at the head of Caviar House & Prunier, a jewel of the luxury food sector. The company was started by your father, Georges Rebeiz, who was the Lebanese Consul in Copenhagen and a precursor of caviar importation in Europe. Was it your father who taught you the business?
Peter Rebeiz: Yes, indeed. And not only did he teach me the business, he gave me the passion for caviar. He started having me taste it when I was four years old. As caviar is a bit salty, children either love it or hate it. I adored it. And have never stopped.
Xenia Tchoumitcheva: How did you go from this passion for caviar to the business side?
Peter Rebeiz: Well, throughout my adolescence, I wanted to be a pianist: I spent two hours every day practicing. At age 18 or 19, I suddenly had the opportunity to be in a group but I needed my own piano, a grand piano. So, I went to my father and said “I need to buy a grand piano,” and he said, “Right, you are going to work!” I quickly understood that if I was inside Caviar House, it would be far easier to buy a piano, than it would be to buy Caviar House if I was outside, with a piano.
Xenia Tchoumitcheva: What do you think makes a company successful?
Peter Rebeiz: For me, it means having the vision of what is going to happen tomorrow. In a company, there are a certain number of people who live and work and depend on it, so, for me success is being able to ensure the future of these people, including myself as an associate. I have never been interested in the type of company that lasts for only a few years. I am always thinking 15 years ahead. We are now involved in raising sturgeon for the caviar and that takes 10 years. So everything we are doing now, we will see the results in 10 years. In five years, we will be doing something whose results we see in 15 or 20 years. So, for me, success is long-term thinking. The real success for a company is when it faces up to a vision of tomorrow.
Xenia Tchoumitcheva: You knew Claude Nobs, founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival. Did knowing him bring anything to your career or to you personally?
Peter Rebeiz: Oh yes, I learned a lot from Claude. First, because until I met him, I thought I was the only crazy person. And when I met him, I realized there was someone else out there who adores food and music as much as I do. We met in an airplane between Geneva and Zurich and we were both on the way to the same meeting. The funny thing is that I didn’t know it was Claude Nobs sitting beside me – although, when I was 14, I had his photo in my room, because he was the inspiration for “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple and that fascinated me at the time. Claude taught me a lot because he was a man for whom nothing is fixed. Everything can change and everything can develop. I always found that side of him very interesting. He had a way of taking risks that few entrepreneurs do. For him, a risk was never a risk; it was always an opportunity.
Xenia Tchoumitcheva: Do you have projects for the future, in your business obviously, but also in music?
Peter Rebeiz: Well, joining with Claude Nobs to create Montreux Jazz Café was a leap into music that I made with him, because I consider this brand, this festival, something exceptional. And Caviar House is still at the beginning – even if the company has been in business for 50 years, we are still at the beginning – and I think now we can go a lot further.