Christophe Coutelle knew what he was doing when he moved to Sarasota to start a business. When you talk to him you can’t help but note his intelligence and deliberateness. Back in France he owned and managed a food industry-related construction and repair company. He built and maintained large food industry warehouses and factories.
One night, he, his wife, and some friends were talking about the future and the idea of starting a business in the United States came up. For a long time it was just an idea but, with a little push from his wife, Mr. Coutelle began to get more serious. He started looking for a market to start a French restaurant. At first he had his eyes set on California but import restrictions made it difficult for him to ship the French kitchen equipment he wanted. Desiring some place warm, he next looked at Florida.
At this point Mr. Coutelle was closing in on the idea of starting a French bakery. He had a good friend in Normandy who owned a large bakery and the two of them worked together. Instead of charging the baker money, Mr. Coutelle would take payment in the form of baking lessons and recipes.
Mr. Coutelle went on a fact-finding trip around Florida. He realized that there was room for a high-quality, yet affordable French bakery in Sarasota. Thus, C’est La Vie was born.
It opened at 1553 Main St on December 6, 1997. Mr. Coutelle and his partner made all the pastries for the opening themselves! Today, C’est la Vie continues to serve quality French food at fair prices, maintaining quite a loyal following, as evidenced by the staff at Jaensch Immigration Law Firm.
But Mr. Coutelle is not resting on C’est La Vie’s success. He has plans to open another restaurant in Sarasota’s Rosemary district. Again, he is leaving nothing to chance. The new restaurant will be called Lolita Tartine and will serve breakfast lunch and dinner. Visitors will order their food up front and either sit down to eat in or take the food home. Those who eat in will receive a number and their food will be brought to them. The idea is that the service will be rapid yet the food will be of high quality, at a fair price of course.
The restaurant will serve a continental breakfast and provide salads and tartines, or uncovered sandwiches, as well as other prepared foods, for lunch. Lolita Tartine will be located right next to two local fitness centers and Mr. Coutelle is hoping to work with the nutritionists to develop healthy meals. There will also be a Menu Degustation where diners can try 3 different entrees on one plate. Lolita Tartine will also provide pastries from C’est la Vie. Mr. Coutelle is also planning on offering pastry-making classes at the new restaurant!
By bringing quality French food to American diners at fair prices Mr. Coutelle has found success in Sarasota. As his businesses grow he thinks someday he might even develop a C’est la Vie franchise. We hope he does, and that his success follows him wherever he goes.
Check out other immigrants who are working to make Sarasota a better place:
- Sarasota Immigrant Offers Flying Lessons for Fellow Foreigners
- South African Tennis Pros Open Academy in Palmer Ranch