Cristel’s story begins all the way back in 1806, under another name: Japy.
It was then that Frédéric Japy purchased a mill and its surrounding land, with the intent of building an empire in his name.
He started by manufacturing clocks, but the company saw rapid expansion into other categories. When he died, he bequeathed his new factory, located at Fesches-Le-Chatel, to his three sons. It was there, in 1849, that they produced their first saucepan.
After initial success, the company floundered in the 20th century–with banks taking over the business for a number of years–until 1983, when a group of workers entered the factory illegally to try and resume operations. They believed in the company, and so did the community. In 1983, after widespread support for the reclaim, Japy re-opened as Cristel, a fusion of Cristal and Chatel.
It wasn’t until the early 1990s that Cristel became known for the innovative modular products that define the brand today. After continued financial strife, they brought on a consultant, Bernadette Dodane, whose husband, Paul, proved instrumental in turning the company around. Having seen their technical abilities, Paul suggested they pivot from producing a wide variety of products to honing in on a specialization: cook & serve.
Over one hundred years into their history, they were able to start anew, focusing their business on products with sleek (and, most importantly, high-quality) removable handles that allowed an easy transfer from the stovetop to the dinner table.
Cristel has continued to innovate since, collaborating with chefs and forming in-house research teams to pinpoint the needs of the world’s best chefs and translate them into products that everyone can enjoy in their kitchen. Cristel is more than just cookware. It’s culinary innovation.