Safran De CotchiaSafran De Cotchia - récolte du safran
©Safran De Cotchia|E. Leonard

Interview : Sabine and Eric Léonard

Cotchia saffron

Meet our passionate producers: discover Sabine and Eric Léonard, who are passionate about growing saffron in a way that respects nature!

Cotchia saffron

  • How did you become a saffron grower?

From the desire to change your life! For the challenge of a new profession! For a return to our roots, the land!
Sabine and I wanted a slightly calmer life, where we’d find more freedom in terms of organization and everything that revolves around a business. In other words, when we started growing saffron, we had to create everything, which meant a lot of work, testing and research, but also freedom of action.

  • What’s your favorite time of year?

Our job is very varied, depending on the season, so there’s really no one more beautiful than the other, but if I had to name one… it would be the flowering of saffron, which is the reward for a year’s work.

  • What, in your opinion, is the best saffron-based by-product?

Our products are very varied and adapt to the different seasons, for example, confits are mostly sold at the end of the year, cotchia pearl for all good occasions, jams in winter, vinegars on salads in summer, saffron itself is used either culinarily as a flavor enhancer or to help you sleep well without stress…

  • You offer tours for the general public, when and how do they take place?

During the saffron flowering season in October we reserve three or four tour dates for individuals (date to be seen on our site).

Well dry and seated in our (heated) room, your tour with us is meant to be interactive! First of all, Sabine will welcome you and take you on a tour of the spice route! While looking at photos on the history of saffron, you’ll enjoy our saffron tastings. You’ll not only get an idea of the history of saffron cultivation, but also of our own! Our company is the leading professional saffron producer in Belgium.

You’ll be able to see the evolution of the company, discover the life of this mysterious plant that blooms in October and the spice extracted from it, saffron. Saffron is worth around 34,000 euros a kilo, which is justified by the considerable amount of work involved: we’ll explain all the upstream work, the work that goes on during and after flowering, and the preparation and use of saffron. You’ll also be able to distinguish real saffron from fake saffron by touch.

In October, weather permitting, we’ll take you to see the field in bloom, let you into the workshop where staff remove the pistil from the flower and then attend the lecture


Discover the saffron grove!