“Unprecedented conditions have been offered to future traders in the Béziers market”

“Unprecedented conditions have been offered to future traders in the Béziers market”

“Unprecedented conditions have been offered to future traders in the Béziers market”

Bixente Alaman, cofondateur de la société basque Biltoki. – F.Faux

Bixente Alaman, cofondateur de Biltoki, la société basque choisie pour gérer les halles, fait le point sur les futurs occupants qui ouvriront leur étal le 1er novembre. Ils ont presque tous été choisis.

Les halles de Béziers font couler beaucoup d’encre, mais c’est la première fois que Midi Libre meets one of the bosses of Biltoki, the future manager. This Basque group – whose name means "the’place that brings together" – is riding a real trend. Over the last five years, around sixty French municipalities have decided to create or recreate their halls. The "Biltoki" family, which comes from real estate development, inaugurated its first halls in 2015 in Anglet. Béziers, which will open on November 1, is its tenth project. An ambitious project, financed by the town hall to the tune of 16 million euros, and whose marketing is supervised by Bixente Alaman, 43, in charge of development within Biltoki.

Have you chosen the merchants ofthe new market halls of Béziers ?

Yes. The project has evolved a little because on has gone from 21 stands to 23, < /em>plus one for Biltoki coffee. Of these 23 stands, 19 are signed or will be signed in the next days. For the others, our selection committee is still looking for the right candidate, particularly for an Asian caterer and another based on Mediterranean flavors.

Will the Biterrois find known figures ?

In the part trad commercei tional yes, because of the 12 stands, 7 will be run by veterans (see box), without forgetting the two restaurants present originally, Hallegria and Table de Flo, which will occupy the other half of Les Halles. In the catering section, they are all necessarily < em>new because this offer did not exist in Béziers. You will have a meat bar, a pizzeria, un French caterer, gourmet s sandwiches, < em>or even a seafood caterer. 3/4 are from Biterrois who live here or who return to town after leaving it, to take advantage of this opportunity. The others are all from Hérault… except one from Perpignan.

Describe to us a day in the Halles de Béziers new version?

The first customers arrive around 8 a.m., to the smell of hot bread. We can imagine that there are already people around the Biltoki café between traders and customers who do their shopping until 2 p.m. at the cheese maker, the pastry chef, the roaster or even the fishmonger . Dsince noon, they joineds by the guests seated in the catering area for lunch. There will be activities all week around products and four key events during the year, such as the halls’ anniversary. From Thursday, the evenings will become more convivial, until 10 p.m.

How were these traders chosen ?

We had several offers for each stand so we had to establish criteria. First, there is the quality of the products offered, the complementarity of the offer, its local character. Then there is the human side. It’s a collective project, you have to believe it. Some people can be very good in stores and much less so in halls where there are more constraints. A market is an addition of products, but also of personalities.

Quelles financial conditions their were proposed ?

For a stand of 20 m², you need to count 1 000&nbsp ;€, all charges included, knowing that the largest stand will be 23 m². The town hall is responsible for the development of the common area, maintenance, en tretien, electricity, security, everything . This is not the case in all halls and these e are really conditions advantageous – I would even say unprecedented.

Are the Béziers halls like the other nine that you manage in France ?

They are in the heart of the city, in an environment steeped in history, with lots of buildings around and a square smaller than in other cities. This had to be taken into account. In Béziers, too, we are renovating a market which already existed, with traders,this is a first for our group. Despite this, no delay n’was taken and the forecast datethe opening – November 1 – is still relevant.

Béziers is a poor city, especially its center, does this change your strategy ?

Sincerely no, because the goal is to bring back a new activity, with high added value, to revive this city center. And then you will find products – at equivalent quality – at prices as attractive as those of mass distribution. The on-site consumption offer will also be attractive. You can come and have an aperitif, a snack for the starter, a main course and a dessert, for 25-30 euros. It's no more than in a restaurant.

In brief

-Who are the former traders of Les Halles de Béziers who chose to move back in? The Alar grocery store, the organic fruit and vegetable producers of the Rongo farm, the Escrihuela family of greengrocers, the oyster grower of Mas des Frangins, the butcher horse Bonifas, the house of Iberian ham Cynthia Larroud, the caterer Philomène.

-Who collects the rents paid by merchants?It is the City that will collect these rents. At the same time, it will pay à the companyé Biltoki a sum of 450 000 € per year for the commercial animation of the premises. Income will also come from the privatization of the halls for private events. Biltoki has already received requests.

A new adventure for Philippe Bonifas

He hesitated, because the conditions were very vague for a long time, because the rent was much higher, before finally taking the plunge. The butcher Philippe Bonifas, who offers horse meat and fresh pork, will finally return to the market."I’I am 54 years old, I needed to join a place that would take me to the end of my career as a butcher. I hope it’s the right choice, he explains.

For a stand of 15 square meters, plus a laboratory and a cold room in the basement, he will pay 1 200 euros per month. In the old market halls, it was 200 euros plus charges, but for very different conditions: "It was more like a covered market than a covered market ;a real market. There were no services, it was necessary invest for equipment… Whereas in this project they are supported by the town hall."

From November 1st, he will discover some new work colleagues, but also a new way of working, "with more dynamism, rigor. "It’s clearly a new adventure, he concludes. I hope now that we will have new customers, so that we can recoup our costs.

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