In Bondues, Sydonios sets up its 100% hand-crafted crystal glassworks

Founded in 2016 in Bordeaux, Sydonios produces crystal glasses of extreme finesse and incredible lightness, mouth-blown by master glassmakers in the Bohemia region , Czech Republic.

In order to reduce its carbon footprint and relocalize this traditional know-how, Sydonios chose the European Metropolis of Lille, and more specifically Bondues, for the creation of its 100% hand-crafted crystal glassworks.

At the start of their development project, the founders quickly targeted the regional territory and contacted Nord France Invest, the economic promotion agency for the Hauts-de-France region. This initial contact enabled them to refine the specifications and the search for an investor. The Hello Lille and NFI teams work together to provide the best possible support for the company.

Bohemia Contractors 

Starting with a blank sheet of paper, founders Antoine Schvartz and Baptiste Larbre enlisted the help of over a hundred wine professionals to create the glasses most precisely adapted to tasting. All parameters have been optimized, including height, diameter and opening.

To achieve this finesse, Sydonios relies on the ancestral technique of mouth-blown glass, held by the great master glassmakers of Bohemia, a region on the border of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

In less than 4 years, Sydonios has conquered the world of wine, and now exports two-thirds of its business to over thirty countries. In France, Sydonios mainly targets wineries, gourmet restaurants and private customers (websites, wine merchants and high-end stores).

Relocating traditional know-how 

Sydonios has an ambitious project: to internalize and relocate its production in France. To achieve this, Antoine and Baptiste, the two founders, plan to reintroduce the know-how of Bohemian glassmakers, lost in France in the 1990s.
“Four of our glassmakers are currently undergoing training in the Czech Republic to learn the skills and techniques of the craftsmen at one of our subcontracted glassworks. Our aim is to produce 100% of our products in France within three years,” says Antoine Schvartz.

A hand-crafted crystal glassworks in Bondues 

With nearly 70,000 lenses to be produced in 2022, Sydonios needed to find the ideal location.

Faced with stiff competition from the Bourgogne-Franche Comté, Grand Est and Normandy regions, the founders finally chose the Hauts-de-France region.

Nord France Invest suggested several locations, including the European Metropolis of Lille, which definitely appealed to the company.

After discovering the Lille ecosystem with Hello Lille’s Invest team, the brand began its real estate search with the help of Hello Lille partner Tostain Laffineur. A major asset for founder Antoine Schvartz

As well as putting us in touch with partners in the sector, it was great to have Hello Lille’s expert advice during the visits. Usually, this information is hard to come by when you don’t know the area.

 And Bondues was chosen by the founders for two reasons.

First and foremost, the living environment, to attract and retain talent:
“For young glassworkers coming out of training, it’s important to offer them a living environment conducive to personal fulfillment. We wanted to find a dynamic metropolis with plenty of opportunities for them and their families.

Ultimately, 21 jobs are envisaged at the Bondues site.

Also, the accessibility of the metropolis from Brussels, where Antoine, one of the two founders, lives.

I have to make daily return trips between Brussels and production, so I had to find a location that was accessible and less than 10km from the station. For both my professional and personal life, it’s a real luxury to work in an area at the crossroads of London, Paris and Brussels. We also have easy connections to major French cities.

Thanks to its proximity to the Lille Europe train station, the Bondues site will enable Sydonios to develop a tourist activity within a few months. Production is scheduled to start at the end of 2022.
There’s no shortage of prospects for Antoine and Baptiste, who are keen to become part of the local ecosystem and, why not, create prestige beer glasses for the region’s many brewers!

The Hello Lille touch 

The Hello Lille touch: the Invest team helped Sydonios with its presentation and introduction to the ecosystem, real estate search support with Tostain Laffineur, recruitment advice and administrative support.

The Hello Lille team, in partnership with NFI, was also able to help the company with the financial engineering of its location: Sydonios benefits from grants from the MEL and the Hauts-de-France Region.