Sophie Deterre

Afineur | Co-Founder and CTO
Paris / Brooklyn


If you love your coffee, then you will love the woman responsible for making it taste so good. Meet Sophie. This French PhD is a food and flavor science expert and she is making your coffee more flavorful and healthier. Read why her food technology start-up is causing a craze via Kickstarter and her advice for women on how to make waves too.

 Hi Sophie. What's your Story?

I am a French flavor scientist, exploring the flavor print of food and beverages on a molecular level.  I am especially passionate about the flavor chemistry behind "savoir-faire" food products.
What's Afineur all about?
To cope with the growing world population and food production needs, Afineur proposes a solution through fermented foods.  Fermentation is a natural food process used by humans for ages. It is also environmentally friendly. My friend, Camille Delebecque and I combined our respective expertise (microbiology and food chemistry) to craft grain-based foods to explore all their flavor and nutritional potential.
How did the idea to create the brand arise?
Camille went on a trip to Indonesia several years ago and discovered the Kopi Luwak coffee.  The journey of the coffee beans through the guts of the civets stimulated his curiosity.  So he decided to experiment with the potential of fermentation in his own small NYC kitchen, without any animal-products and with natural and food-grade strains.  A year later, in April 2014, Afineur was born and he invited me to join him and fund Afineur.
Based on your experience, what is the best advice you could offer an aspiring woman entrepreneur? 
Always believe in yourself. Think you can do it and have trust in yourself.  This may seem like basic advice, but it held true for me.
How are you making the world a better place for the women that will come after you?
I demonstrate in my job and in my life that I can do everything I want and need to be happy. This can mean giving small addresses to high school students or even sharing these thoughts with other female friends.
What inspires you daily to make a difference?
I always ask myself what the rules are all about and what is their real purpose.
How do you define work/life balance and how do you achieve it?
That's a hard question.  Well, I would say at the end of your work day, you try to identify what you did in your job, with your family and friends and for yourself. If each field feels complete, then you have a balanced life.  To achieve it: be passionate at work, engage in physical activity, stay social and be healthy.


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