If it’s Friday, it must be France …
Mon Dieu, what a day I’ve had! There’s malware in my Hotmail apparently sending messages to everyone in my address book that I’m in distress in Greece and need money! It took a few hours of phone calls to Microsoft for them to figure out why I couldn’t access my Hotmail account. Now I will have to wait another 24 to 48 hours before I can get back in. If you happen to receive one of those messages rest assured I’m not in Greece! You know me, I’d rather be in France!
We were up north visiting friends at their beautiful cottage for three days this week and without internet service. I’m now paying the price with overflowing blog and social media matters to take care of.
So I’m taking the easy way out this week and reposting this piece from last year about one of my favourite places in Antibes and the delightful young couple who make it happen. If you are anywhere in the neighbourhood, drop in to see Vincent and Julie!
HERE IT IS:
I love success stories, don’t you? The reason I’m a little late posting this is because I took a few hours this evening to watch the movie The Help with my DH. As well as being an important and well-told story, author Kathryn Stockett’s backstory about writing The Help is one everyone should hear. It’s a true success story.
She received 60 rejections over a five-year period before one brave agent with an eye for a good story saw the truth in it. Click here to read it from my archives, in case you missed it. She’s hilarious and her personal journey is inspiring to all of us who believe in our writing.
Okay, I’m getting off topic … as I do … this post is about France and it’s about success. It’s about a young couple I met in Antibes whose story also inspired me.
Meet Julie and Victor, the owners of Choopy’s, who are natives of nearby Nice and about as sincere and delightful a young couple as you could ever hope to meet. This warm and welcoming shop is in the old town of Antibes, through a short archway off Rue de La République.
I have to admit I’m not a true coffee drinker, unlike my DH who is an espresso afficionado.
I am … full confession here … a faux-coffee drinker. I need chocolate in it . Give me a Café Mocha or a Moccacino and I’m in heaven. I appreciate how seriously the French take their café and I know it’s kind of bad manners to even think of having anything but a café (i.e. espresso) or a café crème so I had been pretending for several weeks that I was cool with that (plus a LOT of sugar). But I wasn’t.
So … Choopy’s was new and had a cosmopolitan ambiance AND they had free wifi – bonus! I wandered in one day to see if possibly they might have one of these North American aberrations on their menu. They didn’t. “Pas de problème!” said Victor with his wonderful smile. “Explain what it is and I’ll make you one.” I did and he did. Magnifique!
Julie, a beautiful and engaging young woman, is a graduate of a prestigious 5-year culinary program. Vincent has a degree in business and finance. Soon after graduation they began working. It took no time for Julie to realize she wanted to be in contact with people and Vincent knew he preferred baking cakes to crunching numbers. Their quest began to figure out just what it was they could do to make this happen.
Like so many other young people, they packed up and had an adventure working and traveling in Australia and Bali. All the while they were on the lookout for something that might be a sign as to what sort of business they should open. It didn’t take long for the sign to appear and surprisingly it was in the shape of … CUPCAKES!
It seemed as if every coffee shop in Australia also served cupcakes. Mon Dieu! Qu’est-ce que c’est? Who had heard of cupcakes in France? Not many. You can find more types of pastries in France than practically anywhere else in the world … but not cupcakes!
Visiting cupcake bakeries in Australia before they left, they were convinced that this was their future. A bit of research back home indicated only one bakery in Paris was making cupcakes. Amazing. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t enjoy a good cupcake … or two? Julie has become a cupcake goddess and every kind I sampled through the summer was über-delicieux!
Along with the ever-changing selection of cupcakes there are several other equally delicious choices to accompany your coffee. Victor’s banana bread with it’s mouth-watering crunchy topping has already established it’s own reputation.
Lunches and Sunday brunches are also served with all ingredients fresh from the daily market. Get there early as the space fills up quickly. The word has spread and this bright, hard-working and absolutely delightful young couple are seeing their business become a most successful venture.
It was always a pleasure to stop in and see how busy they were. Their energy and commitment to their business is evident in everything they do. Customer service is their focus and after just a few months it was obvious they were becoming a very important part of the charming old town in Antibes. Never too busy for a smile and a friendly exchange, make sure you stop by the next time you are in the neighbourhood!
The strawberry cupcakes are to die for … but then, so are the chocolate … and … um, well, the Cupcakes De Noël are out now too. Just try them all!
And ask them how they decided upon the name of their shop … very cute …
Here’s their Facebook link. Stop in and “like” them – they deserve it. Merci beaucoup!
What are some success stories that have inspired you? Have you ever done your homework, taken a big breath and begun something completely new and different in your life? Would you do it again?
Very gutsy and entrepreneuring!
Jess Witkins says
Oh my god, YUM! Congrats!
Claire 'Word by Word' says
What a delight. Must get to Antibes! Hope your hijacked email gets sorted soon.
sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches. says
There’s nothing as wonderful, IMO, as afternoon coffee in France or Germany or Austria or Switzerland or . . . you get the idea. I made every effort to have leisure time during my work day all the years I worked abroad – I soon learned that having coffee was more than just dashing into a shop for a 15 minute break. It was an event. During those 2 and 3 hour afternoon cafe stops, I made wonderful friends. Those times are difficult to replicate here in the states. Ocassisonally, I’ll find a tiny coffee cafe that’s European owned and then it’s magic.
What a beautiful post and now I want a cup of cafe mocha and a cupcake! Yum!
I will “like” their page!
Lovely post, I will certainly be calling in there in a couple of weeks time when in France!