When Gregoir and Mylene Auphin arrived in Nelson on working holiday visas 10 years ago, they were a young couple from France with a dream.
They wanted to create the city’s only French restaurant – inspired by Gregoir’s passion for crepes and Mylene’s long history of working in hospitality.
They found a site in the old Zippy’s café on Hardy St and set about transforming it into a slice of France. Seven years ago, La Gourmandise was born. It was a small creperie dedicated to the art of the crepe and gallette. But fast forward and the restaurant expanded and started opening for dinners.
As La Gourmandise got bigger, so did their family. The couple have two young children – Jeremie, 2, and Marion, who was born two months ago.
“It’s hard to do everything,” says Gregoir. “Restaurants take a lot of time and energy so now we want to take some time to think about what we want to do as a family.”
So they have put the restaurant on the market.
“It feels like the right time,” Gregoir says. “It’s really rewarding work and the business is doing well, but we need a break.”
He says, while it was his and Mylene’s idea, Gregoir says they were able to be successful because of the wonderful staff they had over the years.
“We couldn’t’ have done it without them.”
They also had praise for their dedicated and loyal customers who had made the job a pleasure.
The restaurant has been advertised for the past two weeks, including in France.
“There is no other French restaurant in Nelson, so it could be good to keep that going,” says Gregoir. “But that will be up to the new owner.”
He says if they find a buyer the couple will take a month off to think about their options. But more than anything they are looking forward to spending more time together as a family.