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In Amboise, the confectionery creates its conservatory

La Nouvelle République, 23.06.2020

© Photo NR

Halfway between history and delicacy, the confectionery conservatory will be born and live in Amboise. A first in France.

Of all the passions, the only truly respectable one seems to me to be gluttony, said Maupassant. Nicolas Viollet’s passion is inseparable from gluttony. It’s the confectionery.
But Nicolas doesn’t eat sweets. He creates them, he makes them, he pampers them and he goes further, he perpetuates their memory.

Third generation of confectioners in Loches, Nicolas fell into the sugar pot at a very young age. “At 12, I made my own pralines and at 16, I bought a calisson machine. »

Confectioner by trade, collector by passion

Apprenticeship in a chocolate confectionery factory in Joué-lès-Tours, CFA du Mans, employee in a chocolate confectionery factory in Alençon, training and season in Nantes… Nicolas trained and became a chocolate confectioner like his father and grandfather. But the young man wants to settle down. At the age of 21, in 2006, he took over the Charles VII confectionery in Bourges, specializing in the manufacture of confectionery for fairgrounds. It has up to eight employees. In 2009, he took over all the equipment from a family business in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, including a nougat and calisson machine. He makes his calissons in Bourges. Since 2016, he has been in contact with Charles Chavanette, who was world confectionery champion.

But Nicolas is also pursuing another dream, that of creating a sort of living museum of confectionery. “It all clicked when my father bought four confectionery machines and we rebuilt them together. At 14, I started my collection with chocolate molds. » Since then, Nicolas Viollet has bought everything related to confectionery. He buys machines dating from the last century, objects that were used by confectioners from another era.

Last year, he took the plunge. The mass production of his Berruyère company (40 tonnes of cooked sugar per year) becomes too important for what he wants to do. He sold his business in July and decided to turn his dream into reality. He spends the end of the year with a caravan at the Christmas market in Tours to sell sweets, before starting the year in Amboise where he buys the former premises of the Aldi store, next to the station. In this 900 m2 building with ample parking, he will be able to create a confectionery conservatory.

He moved more than 200 parts there, from small tools to large machines. It takes eight semi-trailers and small trucks to bring everything to Amboise. But confinement stopped the project. He nevertheless takes advantage of this time to improve and prepare his collection. Once the lockdown is lifted, he has two months left to do the installation work before “taking advantage of the end of the season”.