In 1830, the Groult company was created. Thomas Groult bought the "Bazar des Comestibles" in Paris in 1831. He sold pulse flours, pasta and various starches. From abroad, he obtained sago, tapioca and arrowroot. The Groult company had set up many business relationships to obtain supplies from various distant countries, and especially from Brazil (from 1836).
Georges Billard founded the Etablissements Billard in 1879 in Nantes, specialising in products from the colonies: vanilla, coffee, sugar and spices. The business grew rapidly.Tapioca became one of the major products of the company, particularly after the sale of its sugar refinery during the 1930s. After the war, Billard was mainly selling tapioca, rice and other dry goods of less importance.
In order to obtain supplies of foreign goods, and especially tapioca, both companies had set up close relationships with the port. Groult, in Paris, used the Seine river to deliver goods that had been unloaded in Le Havre… and it was not by chance that Billard, originally from Berry, set up his business in Nantes.
The two founding families became associates with equal ownership in a new company, Tipiak, created in 1967 from the merger of their hundred-year-old companies.