By Carine Robinault
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The announcement of the arrival of a ninth bakery in La Ferté-Bernard (Sarthe) will have untied tongues on social networks. Are they really in excess at La Ferté-Bernard? Yes, criticize some, who would have preferred a butcher’s shop Or other Trade missing.
When Philippe Lévêque, owner of the future Angel franchisewhich should open on 1is June 2022, avenue du Général de Gaulle, defends itself: “we are, in La Ferté, in a living area of 50,000 people”.
Not false, the assets are numerous to return home baguette under the arm, bought in La Ferté. Especially since surrounding municipalities, such as Have you, Saint-Martin-des-Monts, Souvigné-sur-Even, Dehault or Prevallack this type of trade.
But when we add the seven medium and large supermarkets fertoises, which also offer this service, or the neighboring bakery of Cherre-Auand his chopstick dispenserthat’s plenty of selling points for white gold.
According to Nicolas Doire, president of the Sarthe Federation of Bakershimself a craftsman in Yvré-l’Evêque, “no legislation exists” on the installation of bakeries.
Fifteen years ago, we had one bakery for 1,500 inhabitants. Today, we are more on a sign for 2000 to 2500 inhabitants. A very indicative number since if La Ferté has a little more than 9000 inhabitants, its living area is larger.
35 seats, next to the Biocoop
For his part, Philippe Lévêque insists: “Ange, it’s not just a bakery, it’s a living space between home and work. You can come here five times a day. In the morning for breakfast, then for a break, at noon, for a snack and in the evening to bring back your pizza. »
There will indeed be a barista corner but also a restaurant area with 35 seats. And the Fertois knows what he is talking about, since he is preparing to launch locally his sixth sign.
It will take place in part of the former Geslin store, which the locals continue to call “Catena”, right next to the Biocoop. By responding to Ange’s wishes: “an easily accessible place for good products sold at reasonable prices”.
“A Chain of Friends”
A speech that conquered the fifty-year-old. And for good reason.
Ange is a chain of friends. An entrepreneurial project but based on old and solid relationships.
At the head of the group, François Bultel. An old acquaintance of the Lévêque couple… “We studied agricultural engineering together. It is a friend. Me, I returned to the punchwhere I was commercial director, he, in a chain of large distribution, around the bakery pastry. »
In 2008, his old friend created Ange, north of Marseille. And multiplies the openings, the following years, with two partners, also friends of promotion of Fertois.
At the start, we had a logic of large agglomerations but today, we want resilient, everyday businesses, with necessary products, which cannot be relocated, such as a coffee, a croissant, a baguette.
This choice of freedom, that of being his own boss, he did so in 2016. “Today, I decide everything. At Le Mans, we have connections with charities, I support eleven sports clubs, ”smiles the man who led the La Ferté-Bernard handball club.
“I have an incredible social life and cross-functionality that my previous job did not allow me,” he rejoices again.
And a family life since Philippe has since embarked wife and children. “Since September, my wife Pascale – former first deputy to the mayor – joined the company. It manages recruitment, apprentices, sales and store animation. »
But that’s not all. Nathan, one of his sons, was the first to join him, in 2016. And soon, his other son, Valentin, will join the adventure… He will take over the management of the Fertois store. “He grew up here, there are lots of friends. He is happy to be back. »
The Ange adventure began in 2016 for Philippe Lévêque, Fertois, with the opening of a first store in the Glonnières district, in Le Mans, in a residential and commercial area.
The same year, he opened a second business in La Chapelle-Saint-Aubin. Its third brand moved to La Pointe Batignolles in 2018. Before the opening of a fourth in Mulsanne in 2020. This was followed by the creation of a fifth bakery, last year, in Coulaines. And on June 1, 2022, its sixth store will open in La Ferté-Bernard.
Baguettes, special breads (paninis, burgers, sandwiches), pastries, pizzas, salads and other quiches and pies, that’s what customers can find, from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. “With an artisanal process for 90% of my products”, assures Philippe Lévêque, who wants to thwart the criticisms that come to his ears.
People make the amalgam: it’s big so it’s industrial so it’s not good
He certifies that his shop will not be just a cooking terminal. “There will be a baker on site. »
“Build a little, all the time”
For him, Angel dough means low prices, and a lot of range activity, with offers.
We manufacture a little all the time so we always have all our products on display. We are at the rendezvous of service from opening to closing with one obsession: the customer. He has to find what he needs, with a good welcome, a good product and a good prox. It involves a large number of employees but it is a choice.
A choice that frightens some in terms of competition. However, Philippe Lévêque affirms: “I have created 105 jobs in Le Mans and I have not seen a single store close around mine. I will take small market shares, of course, but not in a single area. I don’t just bake bread. »
The Ange bakery in La Ferté-Bernard is due to open on 1
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