Christiane & Jacques Boudon: two passionate professionals overseeing two consciously different restaurants in the heart of the 7th arrondissement.
Christiane, originally from the South-West, and Jacques, whose parents come from Auvergne, have followed similar paths. Just out of hotel school, Christiane worked at the Hôtel Nikko (a place frequented by Joel Robuchon), then instead of heading to the U.S., she took a job as assistant manager of Chicago Pizza Pie where she eventually became Head Manager. Around this time (1986), she met Jacques.
After finishing business school with a specialty in the hotel industry, Jacques began his career as a chef in Mr. Donnard's restaurant "Ma Cuisine" on rue Bayen. After two years there, he went to practice his art at the Intercontinental and then decided to return home to his parents to work in the family business. In 1988, the two married and decided to set up their own business. Two years later, they found the ideal place. It came through a friend of the Boudon family in the form of an “old” business: La Fontaine de Mars!
Eight years later, Jacques’ parents decided to retire and offered the couple a chance to take over the family business, a bar/tobacco shop on avenue Rapp. They said, “Yes, but we’re closing down the tobacco shop and setting up a business that's more our style!" Thus, the Café de l’Alma was born... at least in their minds.
After visiting several well-established designers, but not finding “the one,” they took a stroll one day in search of a couch to come up with different ideas. Christiane remembered seeing a couch at the Biennale des Editeurs, but didn’t remember the name of the designer or his address, only that he lived somewhere near the Bastille... it was like finding a needle in a... found! It was François Champsaur, and that’s how Christiane and Jacques found themselves on their way to see this young and talented interior designer.
From there, everything went quickly. François came to see the site three days after and the Café de l’Alma project began to take shape. The two owners had just one condition. “We don’t want to buy anything. Everything must be specially designed for the restaurant, and the decor must not be ephemeral or trendy.” Everything was designed for customer comfort and well-being: ergonomic seating, soft lighting, restful colors and large tables at just the right height. Customers can feel as much at ease getting a drink or a cup of tea as they can over a quick lunch or a sociable dinner.