Fairytale of French baker and the beggar turns sour

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 18 Apr, 2016 Updated Mon 18 Apr 2016 08:59 CEST
Fairytale of French baker and the beggar turns sour

The story of a French baker who planned to sell his business to the homeless man who had saved his life warmed hearts around the world. But it has ended on a sour note.


Michel Flamant, who runs a boulangerie in the town of Dole, eastern France, said he was handing his bakery over to Jérome Aucant to repay him for saving his life.

Aucant, who used to beg outside the boulangerie, noticed Flamant staggering around the bakery one morning last December.

It turned out Flamant was suffering from carbon-monoxide poisoning and the speedy intervention of the homeless man had effectively saved his life.

But his much-publicized heart-warming plan to hand his business over to Aucant for a symbolic €1 has since turned sour.

“I fired him,” Flamant told AFP.

The baker said the final straw was when Aucant, who admitted he had been drinking, abused a female journalist during a telephone interview about the handover.

“When I hung up the phone, I told him we do not talk like that to a woman. He started to attack me, so I told him to leave.”

Flamant, who has been trying to sell the boulangerie for two years, now needs to find someone else to take over the business. His three daughters have already said they're not interested. 

So if anyone fancies taking over a bakery in Dole, now’s your chance and it might not cost you too much either.

"What's more important, money or life? I don't care about money. I'm not rich but I don't care. I want to be free, I want to take it easy now,” Flamant said.


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