US News Ile-de-France: There is no question of skipping Easter chocolates

19:50  08 april  2020
19:50  08 april  2020 Source:   leparisien.fr

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Savigny-sur-Orge, le 7 avril 2020. Christophe Bertrand, artisan chocolatier, livre des chocolats pour Pâques, mais rappelle que les clients ont le droit de se rendre dans ses boutiques A la reine Astrid (en Essonne et dans les Hauts-de-Seine), où ils sont reçus un par un par mesure de précaution sanitaire. © LP / Cécile Chevallier. Savigny-sur-Orge, April 7, 2020. Christophe Bertrand, artisan chocolate maker, delivers chocolates for Easter, but reminds customers that they have the right to go to its A la Reine Astrid boutiques (in Essonne and Hauts- de-Seine), where they are received one by one as a health precaution.

"My daughter is 23 years old, so she is tall," admits Nicole. But with this epidemic of coronavirus, I have even more desire to mark the occasion for Easter. This Tuesday morning, she went to Queen Astrid, a craft chocolate shop in Savigny-sur-Orge. Which remains open like many others in Essonne, because the chocolate factories appear in the list of so-called essential businesses, authorized to open during confinement.

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"We have implemented drastic measures to respect barrier gestures, details Christophe Bertrand, manager of A la Reine Astrid, which also has shops in the Hauts-de-Seine (Meudon and Ville-d'Avray) and in the Yvelines (Versailles, Rambouillet and Le Mesnil-Saint-Denis). A single customer in the store, wearing a mask and gloves for the sellers, safe distance… There is no more risk in coming to buy chocolate than in going to the supermarket. »

Despite these precautions, many customers prefer to go by delivery, for a minimum of 40 euros of order. "Some people think that we are closed, others are afraid," continues Christophe Bertrand. But I found myself delivering people who live 700 m from the store. They should not hesitate to move to their nearest chocolate factory. Anyway, I am not sure that we continue the delivery because it is very time consuming. People can come and buy their Easter chocolates, that is very good. No need to wait until the last minute. »

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What Nicole did not hesitate to do for her 23 year old daughter. “She came back from England where she is a student, and works a lot in her room, explains this resident of Savigny-sur-Orge patiently waiting her turn on the sidewalk. When she looks up from her desk, she sees the garden through the window. I'm going to hide figurines from her that will change her ideas and that will do us all good. »

Same spirit for Anita. "I live just behind the street where A Queen Astrid is located," she says. I saw a documentary on this chocolate factory ( Editor's note: Christophe Bertrand is one of the few in Ile-de-France to produce his cocoa from A to Z ), so when I knew that the shop was open during confinement , I jumped at the opportunity. I have two grandchildren 3 and 6 years old, they live right next to my house. Despite the confinement, there was no question of depriving them of Easter. So I will discreetly put their chocolate eggs in their garden.

Despite these motivated customers, A la Reine Astrid accuses, like many businesses, of a big drop in activity. "In 10 days at Easter, we normally realize our turnover for the year," says Christophe Bertrand, moved that the director of a large area in Gometz-la-Ville has agreed to make room for him for a small stand. With containment, we sell between 20 and 30% of what we did in 2019 at the same period. We save the furniture. »

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