Maille is a brand of mustards, cornichons, stoneware, salad dressings, kitchen gifts and oils which originated in Marseille, France in 1723. Today the company is a subsidiary of multinational consumer goods company Unilever, which manufactures the mass-produced product at plants in different parts of the world. In addition, the original Maison Maille continues operation making traditional Dijon mustard available for sale through boutiques operating in Dijon, Paris, London, and Bordeaux.
In 1747 Antoine-Claude Maille opened a boutique called La Maison Maille on the rue Saint-André des Arts in Paris and became official supplier to the court of Louis XV. His father, who shared his name and was also a vinegar maker, had become famous during the 1720s for recommending the condiment as a plague treatment.
In 1760, Mr Maille was named official supplier to the courts of Austria and Hungary. In 1769, King Louis XVI granted him the license as “ordinary distiller-vinegar-maker” and two years later he was granted charter as distiller-vinegar-maker to Empress Catherine II of Russia.
Mr Maille sold his business to his associate André-Arnoult Acloque in 1800 and died in 1804. His son Robert and Mr Alcoque's son Andre-Gabriel became business partners in 1819 and were appointed distillers to the King and sole suppliers to the house of King Louis XVIII in 1821. Maille became vinegar-maker to Charles X in 1826, supplier to the King of England in 1830, and vinegar-maker to King Louis-Philippe in 1836. A Maille boutique opened in the Burgundy region in 1845.
Maille was purchased by entrepreneur Baron Philippe de Rothschild in 1930. Its slogan Il n’y a que Maille qui m’aille, or "Maille alone suits me", was created in 1931. In 1936 the brand advertised itself by spelling out the word ‘MAILLE’ in lights on the roofs of Parisian buildings. This scene was depicted in a cinema advert called Quand on en a Pas. These campaigns ended after the outbreak of the Second World War.
The company began producing Maille whisky glasses in 1988 and launched its trademark Fleur de Lys jar a year later. It started selling balsamic vinegar in 1991.
In 1996, the firm celebrated the 250th anniversary of the opening of its first boutique by opening a shop on the Place de la Madeleine in Paris. It sells packaged mustards, oils and vinegars as well as mustard straight from the pump. These have been sold online since 2007.
Maille was sold to Paribas Affaires Industrielles in 1997. It was bought by Unilever in 2000. In 2011 new products were introduced: a Dijon mustard with Chablis "1747", an aged balsamic vinegar and black truffle mustard.
Maille opened a boutique on Piccadilly, London in 2013 and another in the Upper West Side of New York City in 2014. It opened one at the Carrousel du Louvre and another in Bordeaux, France in 2015 as well as three in-store concessions in Chicago, Portland, and San Francisco.
In 1937, Dijon was granted the right to an Appellation Controlee, subjecting it to regulations similar to high quality regional wines. Mustard must be made in the prescribed method for it to be called a Dijon mustard.
Maille has produced condiments using unusual ingredients, such as mango, red berries, tarragon and Cognac.
In 1996, Maille introduced limited-edition mustards delivered on tap from porcelain pumps, each based on a signature ingredient such as Chablis. They included a black truffle and Chablis mustard served in sandstone jars.