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"Welcome to Happy Cafe!" : the solidarity and inclusive brand settles in Nantes


REPORT - The company, which employs people with disabilities, is opening a fifteenth café-restaurant on Tuesday, on the occasion of World Down Syndrome Day.

Le Figaro Nantes

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And 15. On this Tuesday, March 21, World Down Syndrome Day, a new Joyful café opens its doors.

A symbolic date for this chain which employs people with mental and cognitive disabilities.

After Montpellier last month, here is Nantes.

The goal is to deploy in the big cities

”, explains Augustin Kauffer, network manager who contributed to the launch of this Nantes project, the first reflections of which date back to 2020. Also, setting up in the center allows, according to him, to “

promote encounters


In this logic, it is in an alley leading to the Place Royale, in the heart of the City of the Dukes, at 1 rue des Vieilles Douves, that the new establishment has just been set up.

It's hard to miss the brand new sunny yellow window display.

Once the doormat bears the inscription "

Welcome home!"

crossed, the team warmly welcomes the "



Here, we are not talking about customers.

Welcome to Happy Cafe!

rang out in unison each time a newcomer entered.

This Friday morning, orders are pouring in even though the café has not yet officially opened.

Only a privileged few, friends or families, are invited.

This allows employees to train and get their bearings.

The curious are welcome, like Clémentine, passing through the city she once lived in.

Read alsoThierry Marx, trainer at Cafés Joyeux: “These are not assisted people!”

A latte!

asks the 30-year-old while curiously observing the fifteen tables covered with dried flowers.

The whole team is busy.

Valentin, one of the six team members (disabled), registers the order at the checkout under the watchful eyes of assistant manager Stéphanie, one of the four skippers (supervisors, editor's note), who gives him a hand when he blocks.

The maritime vocabulary echoes the entrepreneur and founder of Cafés Joyeux Yann Bucaille-Lanzerac, a former sailor.

The guest then receives half of an orange cube, numbered 2, and goes to sit on the terrace.

The other part of this semblance of Lego will arrive on the set of Thelma, the waitress: it helps her to find her bearings.

Valentin, at the checkout, registers Clémentine's order.

Behind, Marine prepares a coffee, assisted by Stéphanie.

A guest book is placed on the bottom of the counter.

LT/Le Figaro

On the day of our report, Thelma takes care of the service.

LT/Le Figaro


I didn't know this place, it's great to involve people who in general, in the world of work, are less integrated

", confides a few minutes later Clémentine, adorned with a mustard yellow scarf matching the storefront. , while enjoying his hot drink.

Passing through Nantes, the designer is above all a former waitress at Le Petit Flore who was still at the same address a few months ago.

“The people of Nantes liked this place

,” says Arthur Brunier, the manager of Café Joyeux, delighted to benefit from the good reputation of its predecessors.

“Many former Petit Flore come to see us.

There is a


aouh” effect.

I was told that there were twice as many tables before and a small kitchen”


In the new layout, approximately 26 people can be accommodated indoors, to which are added outdoor places.

In accordance with its " good, beautiful, true


commitments , every detail is thought out.

Black and yellow are omnipresent, down to the clothing of the employees.

From their solidarity sneakers designed with Le Coq Sportif, to the inscription "


" on their jacket and apron, it's impossible to miss them.

Their newsboy is not decorated.

Their name will be engraved above when they are in CDI

, details the network manager.

Inclusion and indulgence

The objective of the solidarity company is above all inclusion, through the integration of people with disabilities into the professional world: “

We are expected on the subject.

“When the positions opened, “

we had a lot of requests

,” testifies Augustin Kauffer, who was in charge of recruitment.

Currently, the six team members hold contracts from 4 p.m. to 35 p.m.

For some, it is an additional experience like Marine, holder of a CAP Cuisine mention pastry: she has already worked in shops selling "Wonderful" cakes.

For others, it is a first professional experience.

The Happy Cafés also have

Whatever their status, the team members take turns to accomplish the various tasks, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.: cooking, opening, closing, preparing orders... There is no pressure here.

If the pace is a bit slower, most customers don't mind.

Even a salutary break in a world at 100 an hour:

"it's positive to take the time"

, points out a guest.

Read alsoHappy Coffee and Nespresso: when disability brings the world of work together

I'm really happy to come to work.

Showing the right gestures, laughing... It's so rewarding.

And there is a very good team spirit

,” positive Stéphanie Scali.

The assistant manager, who has been in the restaurant business for 18 years, went out of her


to join the cafe when she heard about it.

Among his motivations: "

to pass on to a profession that I love and to feel useful


His N+1, Arthur Brunier, trained in a business school, is a former educator from the northern districts of Marseille.

He also participated in the creation of a structure aimed at giving new life to ugly fruits and vegetables, in collaboration with people with disabilities.

In addition to the solidarity aspect, visitors should not be disappointed by the cuisine made on site from local products.

Homemade savory and sweet dishes are offered.

Brownies and cookies are especially popular.

Foodie talk.

Albane, on the right, is one of the six team members of the café.

Stéphanie, on the far left, is one of the four skippers.

LT/Le Figaro

Marine and Valentin are preparing a vinaigrette for lunch.

LT/Le Figaro

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-03-21

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