Drop everything to run a bar in the countryside in Occitania, Angélique’s bet

Angelique and Anthony pose in front of their bar, happy. Photo taken by a relative

PORTRAIT- An adventure attempted with the association 1000 cafés, which helps the town halls of municipalities with less than 3,500 inhabitants, such as in Murat where Angélique took over with her family the Antre Pots.

Murat, it was almost the city when I was little! There was everything!exclaims Angélique Daumas, 35, with a smile in her voice. However, this memory no longer coincides with reality: Murat-sur-Vèbre, a village in the Tarn, has around 850 inhabitants with only around 350 active people, according to INSEE in 2017.

The young woman started in February 2022 alongside Anthony, her companion, and her children, Tony and Maïly. She now runs a bar-restaurant, l’Antre Pots, in Murat-sur-Vèbre. Nothing would have been possible without 1000 coffees, a program that reinvigorates “municipalities with less than 3,500 inhabitants by reopening local shops in the form of multi-service cafés“, according to the site 1000 coffees, tells us Angélique, the singing voice: the little girl of Cambon-et-Salvergues, a village of the surroundings in the Hérault, saw the announcement of 1000 coffees as a chance .

Murat-sur-Vèbre, Tarn village of about 850 inhabitants, between Aveyron and Hérault. Google maps

Originally, nothing predestined Angélique to assume the role of manager of L’Antre Pots. The young woman from Cambon did a BTS in social and solidarity economy and then worked as the manager of a home help company. Tired, she set out to set up an electrotechnical maintenance company with her companion at the time.

Angelique sees her son and his projects grow up, but her environment does not fully satisfy her. “Living in the city is not the same mentality. People don’t say hello, anyway one day, Tony [son fils] asked me what was the point of all that since people weren’t answering him.“This city life at “200%“, Angelique no longer wants it. This impression of surviving the pincers: “I arrived from work, I prepared dinner and the next day, same thing. We were bitter.»

Separated in the meantime from her companion at the time, Angélique packed up and left Montpellier to work in La Salvetat-sur-Agout as a seasonal worker, happy to flee the city rats to find the country rats. “I had already done service when I was a student to make ends meet. So when friends of my parents took over a restaurant in La Salvetat, I didn’t hesitate. And then, that’s where I met my current partner, who was in the kitchen.»

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A few months ago, Angélique and her companion came across an advertisement: 1000 cafés, an association which acts for the revitalization of municipalities, is looking for new managers for the Murat bar-restaurant. No question of sending a simple CV, the couple wants to propose a new concept, to make L’Antre Pots “[leur] baby“. Faced with the thorny question of supplies and the high average age of the inhabitants of Murat, an idea germinated in the minds of the couple: to offer jars that would contain homemade dishes.

L’Antre-Pot, a village bar managed by Angélique and Anthony. Photo taken by a relative
The village gathers around the bar-restaurant. Photo taken by a relative

Angélique was able to live this entrepreneurial adventure thanks to 1000 coffees, “an operator, an associate and a coach“, as described by the director of the program, Sophie Le Gal.“ We operate with public funding“, describes this one, “those of the Occitanie region, for example in the case of Angélique, or private financing, such as Pernod Ricard.The objective at the launch of the bar-restaurant is to guarantee a certain financial security to the manager, corporate officer remunerated as manager, like Angélique. “If the manager is unable to earn money through his activity, we offer him the possibility of taking out a loan as a legal entity, from 1,000 cafés“. It is this functioning of solidarity economy that allowed Angélique to pay nothing for the launch of l’Antre Pots. This initiative ensures the vitality of a municipality, with the support of the Ministry of Territorial Cohesion and Relations with local authorities.

Today, success seems to be at the rendezvous. “So yes, we have difficulties. Already, you had to be accepted. Besides that, we have a small kitchen and it’s difficult to have it delivered. No days off too. But in the end, it’s only happiness and then the town hall and 1,000 coffees are very helpful.For Angélique, the bar is the heart of village sociability. “In fact, it’s almost like home. On the weekend, everyone parties, the big ones, the little ones“. A spirit that looks like a makeover for the village.

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