A big heart hidden behind a "pig's character," Michel Flamant, baker in Dole, in eastern France, decided to sell his business for a symbolic euro homeless who saved his life.
"I made bread all my life, now I'm tired," said the man, 62, sitting on plastic crates to rest his legs attacked by osteoarthritis.
For two years, Michel Flamant tried in vain to sell its bakery.
But one December day changed the course of things: the craftsman has been a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty bread oven.
"That day, if Jerome had not gone to the bakery, I was leaving to live elongated boulevard," he says.
The craftsman was accustomed few weeks ago to offer a regular coffee and croissant Aucant Jerome, who was the handle in front of the bakery. The big guy with multiple tattoos was with Michel Flamant when it wavered, and he warned the rescue.
Back in the kitchen after twelve days of hospitalization, Michel Flamant offered a job part time at his savior.
"I am demanding: the work must be done as I say and not otherwise!", Asserts there by providing the finishing touches on baguette dough.
Cut short white hair, a simple tank top holding her rounded - it's hot near the oven! - Michel Flamant says he loves "transmit and train people who listen (its) advice, as Jerome."
Child, original Parisien at fearsome glibness dreamed of being a truck driver, but "to make money" his father preferred to do work in a bakery at the age of 14. And craft pleased him.
From Paris to Chicago (United States), Michel Flamant traveled to knead bread, up bakeries and especially train new craftsmen, until its installation in 2009 in Dole in the Jura.
His companion holds the ground-floor shop, while manufactures bread, croissants and pastries in the basement, from midnight to noon, six days a week.
After a few days with Jerome, the baker finds that the homeless want to work and that is very involved in his work. "So I decided to let the matter back for a symbolic one euro," said the craftsman "pig character," as he likes to describe.
"What is more important, money or life? The money I do not care, I'm not rich, but I do not care. I wanna be free, I want to be quiet now. And if he can make it his happiness ..., "says the father of three girls who did not resume trading.
"Jerome is a hard worker and he wants to get out, you have to give him a chance, then I put it in another mess," he added in a mischievous smile.
To slip into his new position, the apprentice garaged dreadlocks and adopted short hair. "I want to work and times of the bakery does not scare me," says this "jack-of-all" who previously lived alternating periods round and seasonal work on the fairgrounds.
"It's a tool that I let him live with him do it," said Mr. Flamingo which was set up in September to form Jerome and give him the keys to the store.
By then, the trader will find a person to keep the shop instead of his partner.
Jerome is aware of the "responsibility" of managing a bakery. "I have to be 100% in my work" and "the customer is satisfied with the product," he said. "Michael made me a gift, now I must assure. I want to be up. "