Meeting with the managers of the hotel-restaurant, in Balsièges, at the gates of Mende. Before the summer, like many establishments, they are looking for labor, especially in the kitchen.
Green classes lead to everything. From Bec de jeu to the Luxembourg district, to Balsièges, there is only one step. Coralie Gaspais and Johann De Leeuw worked in the same hotel establishment in Paris. Both employees, they decided, one day, to acquire their own hotel, outside the capital. Two regions attracted them: Brittany and Lozère. Johann knew Lozère because, as a child, he had come there. Indeed, living in Torcy, in Seine-et-Marne, he came in green class to Bec de jeu. Having kept very good memories of these stays, he was attracted by the department and wanted to make it known to Coralie.
“Summer 2022 is looking good”
Happy coincidence, when they began their search for hotel establishments for sale, it turned out that Roland Catalano wanted to change his life and sold the Luxembourg hotel-restaurant to Balsièges. “We called Roland, we made two or three visits and we knew right away that this was where we wanted to come and live and work. It was just before the covid crisis. It was a great start! “ says Coralie.
Then, confinement arrived, and the restaurant’s activity was reduced to nothing. “Fortunately we had the hotel, which allowed us to earn some money. After the first confinement, it was a good summer. There was movement. We had to help people who were struggling to find accommodation, because we were full. Now the summer of 2022 is looking good”, she adds, smiling. The atmosphere in the café or restaurant is good: “We like to laugh.”
A regular clientele
From the morning, the bar is animated, because the regulars come to have a coffee before going to work. The menu varies daily. It is Coralie who cooks most often with local products. Everything is fresh and homemade. The menus vary each day, depending on arrivals. “I do everything, from appetizer to dessert. We’re looking for staff because I’m alone in the kitchen. And that’s a lot of work!”
The clientele is made up of regulars, especially workers. During the confinement, they could not open the restaurant, so customers could eat outside, on the terrace. Amandine Pons takes care of the cleaning of the rooms, the dishwashing and the service. Coralie cooks and cleans the hotel laundry. As for Johann, he officiates at the bar and takes care of the technical side and the repairs.
The couple have three children: Gabriel, 4, whom they had together, Emeric, 9, Coralie’s son, and Samuel, 10, Johann’s son. The family loves trips without a specific destination, going on an adventure. They haven’t had time to visit Lozère yet. It is part of their desires.
Midi Libre correspondent: 06 83 48 50 18