Through Margot Delpech
Since 1974, the Contraire family has run their bakery, located at the foot of the Château at the entrance to Langoiran (Gironde). Today, three generations work together in this family affair. Bernard, Thibault and Brandon, in other words, father, son and grandson.
And here, many South-Girondins have a memory at the Contraire bakery. Since 1974, to meet, between Cadillac and Langoiran, “Contrarian” is a real point of reference.
“Since 1974, there has never been a single day of closure”
Often, through the voices of people from here, we hear: “It’s next to Chez Contraire.” Everything seems to be close to this bakery, which has become an essential rallying point.
Here, the revelers stop there to buy the chocolatines at the exit of the discotheques, the seniors have their habits there in the early morning, and often, the passers-by simply come to greet the artisans whom they have always known.
Bernard Contraire, the essential
And if they are lucky that day, they may come across the head of the house and son of the country, Bernard Contraire. A real character, not very shy, full of humor and who has a strong opinion on everything. Now retired, he still lends a helping hand.
It was between these walls that he learned the basics of the trade at the age of 14, from his apprentice master, René Baillet. When his boss retired, Bernard took over the business, and he has never closed his bakery since. “Since 1974, there has never been a single day of closure. Never. Moreover, during the first fifteen years, I did not take any vacation, ”says the baker.
A confident outspoken worker
A brave worker with an assumed outspokenness, he always has beautiful and crisp anecdotes to tell. His links with the people here, his relationships that still endure, his memories at the bakery … He could talk about it for hours because he has seen generations of “funny people.” “And he trained them behind his stove:” I have always worked with my apprentices as with my own sons. “
Thibault, the next generation
Moreover, it is his son, Thibault, who, today, takes over. More discreet than his father, he supervises the entire family business. A man in the shadows who organizes the production and deliveries of the Langoiran bakery and the more recently opened one in Martillac.
A true entrepreneur who employs 30 people and who knows, inside out, the tour of his delivery men, from the left bank to the right bank, professionals such as the 750 individuals who are delivered on a daily basis.
Brandon, the third generation
Today, her son, Brandon, 27, has also joined the family adventure. He takes care of the commercial and communication part. A new eye that allows the company to adapt to new demands on the market. “I changed my focus by chance to the commercial part, I did not really know what to do but, in any case, I would necessarily have found a job in the company, whether it was on the commercial part, the delivery part or the bakery, ”says Brandon.
The three generations are very different, and the trio do not always agree, but “it’s like that in families” they say. They still have a common goal: to develop the company and renew its offers.
Part in organic production
In recent years, the bakery has had a section dedicated to the production bio. A big challenge which is not without difficulties: “There are more and more providers asking for organic”, admits Thibault.
“We have seen an evolution in recent years. Before, people wanted good bread at a low price, then good bread at a fair price, and now they want good, organic and at a low price … Often they don’t know what that entails. “
He continues with an example: “Organic flour is much more expensive. At the same time, the business must be able to live: pay the employees, the charges … So yes, we adapt but we do not sell off our artisanal production. ”
“We never asked for help”
Moreover, among the Contraries, even when we go through difficult times, we do not balk. This seems to be the policy of the house: “We never asked for help, we always worked, even when it was hard and we really thought we would not get out of it, confides Bernard. Opposite. I’m not ashamed to say it. Today, when we have a problem, we launch a pot… We had nothing and we did it anyway. It was like that before, and if we want, we get by, the proof. “