Le Petit Pont

The Salabert family: Continuing in the Aveyronnaise tradition

 Untitled3     Untitled2

May 16, 1896, Jean Salabert and his wife Marie Combres left their native Aveyron and decided to live in Paris. However, they rented the “Vignal” house in case of a possible return to the country. You never know, after all.

A year after their marriage, they were wine and coal merchants, “Bougnats”, as was said at the time. The eldest of their five children, Jean-François, was born in 1895. In 1897, the couple moved to 2 rue de Bazeilles and opened a new Bougnat. In 1920, after 14 years of hard work in Paris, Jean and Marie understood that they were not going to return to the country. From that point on, the Salaberts lived with their five children at 118 rue de Bizot in Paris’s 12th arrondissement where they ran and operated a Café-tabac.

The years passed, WWI took their eldest son at the age of 20. Jean and Marie purchased the Café-tabac “le Balard”, which was located on the place Balard in the 15th arrondissement and which is still in existence today.

The word “retirement” doesn’t exist in the Salabert household. They simply work a little less. They gave le Balard to Marie, their second child. Each summer, they returned to the country. Jean passed away there in 1932 at the age of 63. Marie soon followed behind him, passing at the age of 61. None of their 4 children would return to live in the country.

The Salabert legacy is carried on today by their grandchildren: Jean-François Calmels at Courcelles in the 8th arrondissement, and Christophe Salabert, grandson to René, the youngest of five children, at Café le Petit Pont in the 5th arrondissement. Christophe, born in Paris, was raised in the country by his grandparents. When he turned 18, diploma in his pocket, he moved to Paris, where his Uncle Jean brought him into the business. At his retirement, Jean handed over the direction of Café Le Petit Pont to Christophe, with the understanding that he would carry on the tradition of the Aveyronnaise Paris bistrot.

Laurence Salabert