Ex-soldier turned baker, François Pellegrin began delivering bread to homes on Monday, November 14, 2022. A way for this 49-year-old craftsman, who lives in Bellancourt (Somme), to respond to the call of the elderly who close to his home, had long lamented the disappearance of the local shops.
Six afternoons a week, it is therefore in a red scooter that this former parachutist makes his rounds in Bellancourt, Montflières, Francière and Vauchelles-les-Quesnoy. Thanks to the stamped three-wheeled vehicle “Francis’ Delight”about forty baguettes, about thirty cakes and about ten specialty breads are delivered daily to an increasing number of customers, mostly elderly people.
Armed with a megaphone, the forty-year-old announces his presence: “Your baker is in town rounding out bread, cakes and whipped cakes. » The song The chocolate bun by Joe Dassin accompanies this routine and customers are served. 10% of them booked in advance via SMS, via Facebook or through the online store recently created by François Pellegrin. “It allows me to plan my production and avoid waste”entrust the latter to us.
“Sometimes it’s grandchildren who live far away, but who order for their grandmother”notes the one who was also a caregiver for ten years and who in the middle of Covid performed “home delivery of free food and medicine to isolated elderly people”.
He produces his bread at another bakery
Faced with the reluctance of the banks, the craftsman could not get the loan that would have enabled him to open his establishment in Abbeville. Therefore, because of this delivery experience, he decided to go directly to meet the customers. It was a baker from Crotoy who lent him his scooter to get started: “Something to combine business with pleasure by introducing an ecological form of transport”, emphasizes François Pellegrin. In return, the ex-soldier helps the manager of the bakery “Good old fashioned bread” to produce their bread or cakes from After which he carries out his own production.
“In outdoor activities, I was already making pancakes and other cakes to please my friends and improve our daily life”, the former soldier remembers from the top of his 16 operations. During his 18 years in uniform, he intervened in the former Yugoslavia, Congo, Ivory Coast and Afghanistan, from which he returned with post-traumatic stress. The injury forced him to put an end to his involvement in 2009, as reported France 3 Hauts-de-France .
“We cannot increase the price of the baguette”
Ten years later, he participated in season 9 of the show The best pastry chef deployed on the M6, to prove to his son with a disability that nothing is impossible. After four weeks in the limelight, François Pellegrin decided to train by taking a CAP in bakery and pastry. At the moment, his activity barely allows him to reimburse his expenses. He doesn’t quite earn his living, but remains optimistic despite the rise in energy and commodity prices. “The elderly have small pensions, so we cannot increase the price of the baguette”admits the baker, who sells his for €1 each.
While he waits to open his business in Abbeville, this craftsman with an atypical career hopes to start delivering to other cities. His ultimate goal? “In a few years, you will present the competition for the best worker in France in the field of pastry or bakery. » Until then, he will travel to Mongolia in 2023 to participate in a documentary about post-traumatic stress. He then wants to pass the torch with deliveries to the younger generation. “Giving them the opportunity to pay for their studies can be a solution”, he believes. And why not, “make them want to do this job”.