By Hervine Mahaud
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The adventure of The Impertinent continues, at a controlled pace as since its creation in Lille he is 7 years old. From Wednesday June 15, 2022, the famous pony club will open a new tea room. It will look nothing like the original since it will bea mini shop within Grand Scène, the food court on rue de Béthune. You will find the brand’s “gâtals” there, such as the famous millionaire shortbreads. On the occasion of theopeningAlexandre Luna, aka le Barbu, talks about this new and important stage.
How to renew after 7 years?
They have always refused to see their pony club multiply in the four corners of France. However, these are not the opportunities that Marine and Alexandre Luna, the couple behind this great Lille-style success story, failed to sell their brand to big investors. But why ? “We don’t want to, that’s our philosophy. There is a habit, when something works, of seeing it decline everywhere. We want to remain independent,” explains Alexandre.
But after taking up the crazy bet of bringing the people of Lille to their little out-of-the-way shop, and with a success that has never wavered over the years, the entrepreneurs wanted something else. “The 7-year anniversary was approaching and we wondered what we were going to be able to do afterwards. »
So why not finally open a second tea room? Still had to find the right place. “Rue de Béthune has always interested us. On the other hand, Marine and Alex like the omnipresence of big brands much less, which can be found in every city center. “It’s no one’s fault in particular, customers come to stores they know. So by setting up shop in this emblematic artery, the creators of L’Impertinente hope to contribute to moving the lines.
Not a “pony club bis”
The financial aspect still remains to be resolved. Because, who says very commercial street, necessarily says expensive rents. Fortunately, the couple is offered a great opportunity: a place in the food court Grand Scène, rue de Béthune. After having long exchanged the two founders, Marianne Barbier and Geoffroy Marticou, two fervent defenders of the homemade, Marine and Alex said “banco”.
“They wanted to develop the whole sweet part. There are a few thanks to the Tamper (another Lille tea room, editor’s note) and a few desserts at each stand, but it’s still on the margins. There, we can come and have a dessert or a snack with us. This will allow us to attract a clientele that we have not been able to capture so far. I understand that people who are in the city center don’t want to go a mile to eat a cake. »
On the other hand, there is no question of having a “pony club bis. We fight against the copy-paste side in the city center, it’s not to do it. The offer will therefore be consistent with the location. “Someone who wants the product above all else will go to Grand Scène. But someone who wants the total experience, with decor and hospitality, will go to Boulevard Papin, to the parent company. Finally, if someone prefers to avoid the city center, there is the Seclin drive. For each need and each way of consuming, there is an answer opposite, they complement each other and do not cannibalize each other. »
A mini-shop and soon a salty offer
Installed in place of the creperie Brutus, which folded the saplings to settle in rue Esquermoise, L’Impertinente in the Grand Scène version has planned to impress. “We’re really going to decorate so that it looks like a mini shop and not a stand. »
The couple left each other 5 months, until October to see if the sauce takes well. “We will take our time, we will first open by offering our usual cakes. And if we stay, we’ll launch a salty offer. A great first for L’Impertinente, which only offered its delicacies. “It’s a return to basics because it was the initial desire, we wanted a tea room with salt. But for lack of time, it could never be done.
If all goes well, the salted menu will be available at the start of the school year both at boulevard Papin and at Grand Scène. On the other hand, L’Impertinente still keeps the mystery around these products but promises “something different”.
For what he calls the “last third of the Impertinent adventure”, Marine and Alexandre wanted to really enjoy themselves by going after their desires. “We’re going to do what we’ve always wanted to do, but keeping the DNA intact, staying on something that we master and of which we are proud. »
“We have known the end date for a long time. Talking about it openly is a strong message to say that you can settle down knowing nothing about it, without having a lot of money and that you can settle in the city center without agreeing on 30 years . »
The Impertinent will not disappear for all that, the couple are conscientiously preparing their successor. The successors will then perhaps come from the “Gâtal Académie”, the pastry school opened in September 2021 in Seclin, which allows those who pass the CAP pastry as a free candidate to complete 14 weeks of internship. “They are trained in our daily life and really see everything that appeals to the tea room to have a global vision of the profession. »
After their book “The Professional Life of Russian Dolls – A cheeky little guide to retraining”, Marine and Alexandre are working on a second self-published book. “We would like to leave an object when we stop the adventure. It will be a beautiful book. As soon as you get a little slack, all you have to do is open it to smile again,” rejoices Alexandre. Throughout the pages, you will find illustrations of Marine, recipes, jokes hidden in a corner of the page, dialogues with Belle-Maman,… The release date has not yet been decided. “We are working on it, it will come out when it comes out. Count on us to talk to you about it in due course.
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