Joyeux, there are many reasons to love this place!

Joyeux, a new kind of trendiness

Yann Bucaille Lanrezac is a dreamer. But before dreaming, he became a successful businessman in Brittany and in 2012, he bought a catamaran named Ephata. He used it to take autistic children and/or with drown syndrome for a day’s sail. Six thousand so far have been on the boat. One day, a young woman told him: “I don’t need a nice sail, I need a job”: and this is when he decided to open his first Joyeux coffee shop in Rennes, at the heart of Brittany. Today he is opening Joyeux Opera in Passage Choiseul (at corner of rue St Augustin) and he hired the hip young architect Léonie Alma Mason to do the decor. It is a very surprising and happy place!

Yann Bucaille Lanrezac is the founder of Joyeux

While being interviewed by Europe 1 radio, Yann described his project with a great sense of humor. He opened in a trendy passage, half way between Bourse and Opera, in an area where young bankers and executives run around making money and forgetting about real life. With his young waiters and cooks, who are all mentally handicapped, he wants to attract the attention of these white collar workers and give them a new vision of otherness. Make them share their luck with less affluent people.

The young waitress is looking for the blue lego table

Everything is simple at Joyeux, and the floor pavement is very clever in white, yellow and black designs. Upstairs in the minuscule kitchen and dining room, it is in reverse with more black. The general theme is yellow and every employee wears a yellow shoe on one foot and a white one on the other. There are a few yellow neons to decorate the windows and simple round mirrors on the walls.

All tables and chairs are vintage and were recuperated from the former café. They  were simply painted, cleaned and covered in grey skai with a black lining. Traditional bistro tables were made especially. To help the staff find their table (you order at the counter and they deliver), you are given a lego toy in green or blue or orange. And they are given the same lego, which they have to match with yours. So you see everything is playful at Joyeux.

There are two entrances, one on rue St Augustin and one on passage Choiseul

Now what about the food? Well you have butternut lentil soup or squash or coco/curry and three kinds of quiche, a little salad, sandwiches and cheesecake or tarts or crumble. A choice of vegetarian dishes and gluten free desserts. The average bill is 12€ for a full meal. Teas come from Bentjeman and Barton, the best tea manufacturer in Paris, and juices are freshly squeezed. No alcohol is being served.

On the walls a reminder of the boat for handicapped children

Mostly, the atmosphere is charming and jolly. There is a sense of sharing and everyone wants to help. All the profits will eventually go to associations for autistic and mentally handicapped children. Since the restaurant is just opening this week for Down syndrome day (on the 21st) no-one knows yet how it will evolve but after his experience in Rennes Yann is optimistic!

After decorating eco friendly Belle Epoque style luxury Hotel Castelbrac in Dinard for the Bucailles, Léonie Alma Mason has developed a sweet yellow theme at Joyeux Opera. Life can be fun and different and not automatically overpriced…

Joyeux is open Tuesday to Saturday and closes with Passage Choiseul at 8 pm. From Thursday 22, March onwards.

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9 Comments on “Joyeux, there are many reasons to love this place!”

  1. Virginia

    Dear Laure have forwarded this to Rosa Monkton who has something similar in Brighton to help her daughter Domenica born with Down’s syndrome and others like her. It’s been such a success that some of the young working there have found permanent employment. I am always full of admiration for people like her.

    Virginia xxx

  2. de boisgelin

    Merci, Laure, de nous informer de ce beau projet !
    Pour l’information de tous, un restaurant de ce type, géré par de jeunes trisomiques, s’est ouvert à Nantes en décembre 2016. Il vient de fêter sa première bougie, tout en “cédéisant” ses jeunes employés. Il s’agit du Reflet, situé 4 rue des Trois Croissants !
    Merci à ces belles âmes et félicitations aux jeunes apprentis !
    Amitiés, Isabelle

  3. Gerald Bonner

    What a wonderful story, we will be sure to visit on our next trip to Paris. Yann Bucaille Lanrezac is a hero !

  4. Laurence Dumaine Calle

    Chère Laure,
    tu fais un travail magnifique, ces informations diverses d’une grande qualité chaque semaine, sont une joie à découvrir…
    Depuis si longtemps, il fallait que je te le dise.
    Bravo, merci, des baisers d’amitié

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