Frenchman Donates Entire Bakery To Homeless Man Who Saved His Life

Credit: AFP
Credit: AFP

An unlikely friendship between a homeless man and a French baker ended up benefiting the lives of both involved.

For years, 62-year-old baker Michael Flamant has been running a bakery in Dole, France. A culinary artist since age 14, he has mastered the art of baking delectable goods, as well as being kind to individuals in need.

While other business owners might shoe a homeless man from begging in front of their establishment, Flamant has been extraordinary kind to one, in particular, named Jérôme Aucant.  Because Mr. Flamant would regularly offer the beggar coffee and a croissant to keep his spirits up, a friendship of a unique kind was formed.

Last year, Flamant’s generosity was handsomely rewarded.

As The Telegraph reports, Mr. Flamant was baking bread in his white “marcel” (singlet) in his bake house when he started to feel unwell. According to his partner, he had been feeling very tired for several days, ever since someone came to fix the bread oven.

Because the oven had been poorly repaired, it was leaking carbon monoxide – an odorless and noxious gas – which is deadly if inhaled. The skilled baker continued with his craft, but felt increasingly drowsy and eventually fainted.

Shortly after, Aucuant chose to pop into the bakery for a chat and a break from the cold. After taking one look at the baker, he knew to call emergency services.

Said Mr. Flamant:

“That day, if Jérôme hadn’t popped into the boulangerie, I was headed straight for the boulevard of the departed.”

Credit: AFP
Credit: AFP

If Mr. Aucuant hadn’t rescued the baker, he would have been dead within an hour, reports APF.

After two weeks in the hospital, Mr. Flamant was graced with an inspiring idea. He decided to hire his savior as an apprentice, an offer which was quickly accepted.

“I’m demanding: work must be done as I say and not otherwise,” he said.

The experienced baker admits to having a “terrible temperament,” but loves “transmitting and training people who know how to listen like Jérôme”.

It took only days for Flamant to see that he had a willing and able apprentice. Feeling confident that Jérôme could adequately handle the bakery in the future, the culinary artist decided to gift the entire bakery to the man who saved his life.

Credit: AFP
Credit: AFP

“So I decided to leave him the concern for one symbolic euro,” said Mr Flamant, none of whose three daughters were interested in taking up the business.

Flamant, who has started up bakeries in France and even Chicago, knows that there’s more to life than money. He relays:

“What’s more important: money or life? I’m not rich but I don’t give a damn about money. I want to be free, to be at peace now. And if it can make him happy, so much the better.

Jérôme is a hard worker and wants to succeed. He deserves a break,” he said.

His partner, Monique, fully supports Flamant’s decision.

“We live in a society where it’s every man for himself. It’s so rare these days to people who respect each other,” she said.

After Aucant is trained for a few more months, Mr. Flamant will officially hand over his bakery in September. In the meantime, the formerly homeless man has shaved off his dreadlocks so he does not scare customers.

Credit: AFP
Credit: AFP

“I’m leaving him a place of work, now it’s up to him to make it work,” said the experienced baker.

Such inspiring generosity is rarely witnessed in our world. What are your thoughts on this positive news? Please like, comment, and share!

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