Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Depot Vente La Fauvette, Chatellerault

A couple of weeks ago we had 10 minutes free in Chatellerault so we called in to our friends Nathalie and Fabien Jouffriault. They run the marvellous trove of treasures that is the Dépôt Vente La Fauvette. They are second-hand dealers and the shop has all sorts of things for not very much money.

Fabien directing traffic at a classic car event.

La Fauvette has been going for over 20 years, owned and run by the Jouffriault family. The business is called La Fauvette ('the Warbler') because the dance hall across the road was called that. Fabien had a sheet metal workshop which he closed in 1993 in order to follow his passion. His father had been an itinerant broccanteur and Fabien himself was a collector of old cars, enamel signs, cans and old games. He likes stuff that people have used.

 A racing shell hanging from the ceiling and a metal rooster made by a local artist.

They started out modestly, with just a small truck. All the family helped out. Brothers worked on the electricity, sisters wielded paintbrushes. Today you can find everything (except clothing) at the dépôt vente, either being sold directly or placed at there on commission by private vendors. Fabien has a regatta boat that was once in the French championship. He once had a merry-go-round and tourist train with 450 metres of track. Nathalie remembers riding in it with the children. She says Fabien is just a big kid and that's why they do it.

 Wicker baskets.

It's not always easy, and since internet sales of second-hand goods has really got underway, they have serious competition. Fabien also notes that old furniture is selling less well than it used to, with fewer buyers coming from the US or Italy since the global financial crisis.

The front of the shop.

Nevertheless, La Fauvette is still there when others have closed. They have a loyal clientele, some of whom come every day and treat the place as a sort of social meeting place. Nowadays they've been going long enough that several generations of some families are regular clients.


I'm not surprised the clientele is so loyal. First of all, Fabien has a good eye. Some of the stuff for sale is impossibly quirky and just makes you laugh, but if I was looking for good quality affordable garden furniture or baking tins or a bicycle for example, this is where I would come. Second, Fabien, Nathalie, their daughters and son are the nicest imaginable people -- funny, down to earth and kind, and a very closeknit family. I highly recommend a visit to the shop. You'll enjoy it.

Nathalie behind the counter.

Dépôt-vente de la Fauvette
35, rue Jean-de-la-Fontaine.
Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9.30 am - 12.00 pm and 2.30 pm - 7.00 pm, Sunday 2.30 pm - 7.00 pm.

 If only we had enough money to renovate the barn. 
This ostrich would be perfect for one corner of the living room.

The children regularly join in the fun.


Le Pré de la Forge said...

I must NEVER, NEVER, EVER go into that shop.... At least, not with a wallet or cash anywhere about my personage!!
It is a goldmine of treasures and Pauline says we have too much stuff....

chm said...

Just like Tim, I should stay away from such a place. I would be so tempted! I have enough bric-à-brac as it is!

Ken Broadhurst said...

I'm in the process of figuring out how to get rid of the clutter here. I think Emmaüs is my answer. I'm starting to gather things up now. Again.

Jean said...

Looks like the kind of place I would like, must pay them a visit.

Emm said...

How can you possibly live for another day without that ostrich as part of your ménage?
Made me laugh out loud, it did.

Susan said...

It's OK. I'm just focusing on the likelihood of it getting furniture beetle or clothes moth infestation and the impossiblity of getting it in the freezer.

Emm said...

OK, that really did make me laugh out loud.
Do you know anyone with a commercial walk-in freezer where you could deposit the critter for a week or so?

Susan said...

I could probably find somewhere, but what a hassle! Just wrapping it up and transporting it is bad enough without having to negotiate a space in a freezer. I could always give it a flea collar I suppose :-)

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