Gilles Coupeau was born in Paris and once he gained his degree in patisserie, he quickly learned that this precious passe-partout was going to open many doors. As soon as he could, he went to work abroad, and he founded the brand "Boulangerie Victor Hugo", in Guernsey.
Then Gilles Coupeau went into exhile in Russia to round off his knowledge of the world before returning nearer to France to spread the art of patisserie. Southampton was the best compromise: the town of a last challenge. He installed himself there from the start of the economic recovery in 2014, and instantly prospered.
Gilles Coupeau's dream was to have a place where his skills could be perceived as a proper art. Also, as Coupeau was as generous and benevolent with the artists as a certain Ragueneau, he hoped this place would be some Oasis for artists of all sorts. Gilles loves all of his clients truly: for him happiness is seeing them enjoying his pastries.
The peak moment in BVH occurred when he organised Giaco's (1) Opening in November 2015. The BBC, ITV and more than 50 VIP and 200 people were present. We all thought then that the dream would smoothly go ahead.
Unfortunately, Coupeau's artistic concept away from the dreaded business of the chain restaurants, needed more support from the owners of the building and cultured customers. But today's appalling logic of dehumanised trading step by step completely destroyed Coupeau's sublime Utopia.
After a long battle against nonsense, Gilles Hero Coupeau decided to let it go. No more paintings will decorate the already superb bakery which had a hint of France with a lot of poetry in its walls. No more amazing cakes to be offered for parties or given away to friends who were just passing by. Nothing more than silence, mediocrity and selfishness.
However, Gilles isn't dead. Injured but still alive, he will relocate somewhere and start over in some new luminous place where Piéces Montées, Croissants, Gateaux au Chocolat and Saint Honorés will rise again, a place where all new Vangogh will be welcome and not rejected in the street.
Vive Coupeau! Et merci mon Ami pour tout ce que tu nous a donné: un ultime espoir dans la morne plaine de ceux qui ont perdu leur âme au nom de leur dieu cupide.
1: http://www.outsidein.org.uk/Geoff-Rey 2017