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Food Lover’s Dream-chef’s Paradise, French Cooking School In Carcassonne For Sale

Carcassonne, Aude
Asking Price:
€220,000 Furniture / Fixtures and Inventory / Stock included
Sales Revenue:
€35,000
Cash Flow:
Not applicable

Have you dreamed of running your own cookery school or food and wine business?

We are selling our French cooking school which we run from our superb light filled home equipped to the highest standards with purpose-built demonstration kitchen. Over the past 5 years we have inspired and entertained over 1,200 cooks and 280 of their companions joining as lunch guests.

We run the school as a seasonal “lifestyle business” offering classes throughout the summer season from early April to the end of October. We have chosen to run 2 or 3 classes a week over the season. In 2019 we chose to run 44 classes from 6 May to 25 Sep, with a gross income of over €30 000. Since 2015 we have doubled our revenue.

This is a great opportunity to further develop this thriving lifestyle business with 5 years proven income. It is a self-contained “ready to go” business model, which can be developed or adapted to suit your own lifestyle needs! This includes increasing the number of classes offered, extending the season, and/or diversify into other activities.

We are located on an olive and almond farm in a unique UNESCO world heritage region; 50m from the iconic Canal du Midi with the Medieval City of Carcassonne just a 12-minute drive away.

Our key customers come from the UK, Australasia and North America. We feature in the USA Rick Steves’ 2019 Guide to France and other tourist publications. Referrals and returning guests make up over 20% of our business. Many have visited for their fourth and fifth classes and have become friends! It is an ideal activity for visitors cruising, cycling or walking the Canal du Midi which is minutes from our front door! Check out our five star TripAdvisor and Facebook reviews.

In our one-day classic French cooking class we accommodate up to 8 cooks (plus their lunch guests) for a 4 hour tutored hands-on culinary experience. This is followed by a traditional 3 course lunch with local wines, the result of their day’s labour, on a terrace on the canal banks under the shade of the last iconic plane trees.

Our produce is mostly sourced from our resident market gardener and olive grower in the Domaine of Millepetit which also boasts a Chateau and Tower with origins back to the 13th Century. Canalside terraces, a boat mooring and herb garden are a feature of this delightful hamlet.

This is a unique opportunity for an enthusiastic food lover or chef to take on a successful business running cooking classes for tourists, holidaymakers and English-speaking residents.

Please note that this is a direct house sale, all aspects of the cooking business outlined are included in the full asking price. There are no estate agent's fees.
Notaire fees are payable by the purchaser under French law.

Property Information

Real Estate:

Real Property Included

Living Accommodation:

The cooking classes are run from our converted barn, which is over 3 floors. The ground floor is home to the cooking school with purpose-built demonstration kitchen, dining and seating area, and cloakroom.

A timber staircase leads to the 1st floor main bedroom, bathroom and an open plan lounge-study or sejour. A third bedroom can easily be added if desired on the 1st floor.

A second staircase leads to the guest bedroom and bathroom with access to a rear terrace.

Location:

The cooking school is located in SW France on a 13C wine Domaine and hamlet called Millepetit, situated on the UNESCO World Heritage Canal du Midi. Millepetit is just a 12-minute drive from the medieval city of Carcassonne, also a UNESCO site and the second most visited tourist attraction in France after Paris.

We are centrally located for Toulouse, Montpelier, Beziers & Carcassonne international airports. There are direct flights to Carcassonne from London, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Cork and Dublin.

The vineyards of Corbières and the Minervois are within a 15-minute drive or an easy cycle.
The Mediterranean beaches are a 40-minute drive and the closest ski resort, Ax les Thermes, is a 2 hour drive away.

Barcelona is just 2.5 hrs by direct train line and Carcassonne is a popular stopping point for visitors to this beautiful city. Trèbes, our closest village, a 35-minute walk along the Canal tow path to the Port de Plaisance with an attractive and convivial terrace overlooking the Canal, which hosts a variety of delightful restaurants, bars and attractions.

Premises Details:

Our home is part of original horse stables and the 144 m2 terraced stone barn was fully renovated to the highest standard in 2014. The ground floor purpose-built demonstration kitchen is a key feature. The freehold property was designed to accommodate the cooking school and provide private accommodation for the owners.

Size in square feet:
144 sq m
Planning Consent:

The original conversion was issued planning approval in March 2014.

Business Operation

Expansion Potential:

The Languedoc is very much an emerging destination, there are many ways to increase or diversify the business by:
* providing classes 5 days a week
* extending the season
* ‘exporting’ cooking classes to high-end Chateaux and gîte complexes
* changing the model from one-day classes to multiple days
* taping into the local expat/French market and provide classes in non-French cuisine, and
* offering bed & breakfast accommodation in the second bedroom.

At time of writing, there is also a one-bedroom holiday cottage for sale a couple of doors away and the next door barn has not yet been developed. Both are owned separately.

Competition / Market:

Our closest competitors are 3 hours away - residential cooking packages are offered 45 minutes away but do not cater to those looking for a one day experience, which guests seek in their busy and often short holiday period or weekend breaks.

Our one day "Classic French Cooking Class" in English offers a unique culinary experience, which introduces visitors to life on a traditional French farm-hamlet. This is followed by a convivial 3 course lunch with matched wines on the banks of the Canal du Midi as the boats pass! Check out our five star TripAdvisor and Facebook reviews or our Instagram page to hear and see more about us!

Reasons for selling:

After establishing the business from a blank canvas, we have created a successful and extremely popular enterprise.

We now wish to sell as we have reached retirement age and have purchased a motor home for the next phase of our lives. We intend to travel through Europe and beyond…….!

Trading hours:

The classes are offered on demand for a minimum of 4 cooks from April to October and run from 9:45 am to 4:00 pm. We are available for classes 7 days a week, however we limit the number of classes offered as a lifestyle choice.

We usually allow 2 hours per class for preparation and clean down. We do a weekly shop as our main suppliers deliver direct to our door.

Employees:
This is a business that can easily be run by one person however, we have chosen to share the operational and teaching roles simply because we both enjoy it. When we entertain larger groups (our maximum of 8 cooks and 8 additional lunch guests, our neighbour helps with the washing up!)
Years established:
5

Other Information

Support & training:

All the resources currently used to manage the business and deliver the cooking classes will be provided - cooking equipment, booking contacts, our website and social media, recipes and photographs, costing and other spreadsheets (excludes personal furniture/effects).

We expect the business to appeal to enthusiastic experienced cooks and chefs who are looking for a change of lifestyle but still want to be active, engaged and very social! We are happy to offer training from our experience of designing teaching techniques and organising the classes if required.

A knowledge of French helps but is certainly not necessary, our classes are in English and our suppliers and contacts are all used to Google translate!

We work closely with other tourism businesses in the area and there is a strong support network all dedicated to marketing this beautiful and unique part of France.

We hope you will enjoy it as much as we have!

Website:
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Related Documents:
Home based:
This business can be run from home.

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