What's in a Name?
La Bonne Echappée is a bike shop and café run by Philippe Sauvage and Claire Duffy. It is located at 20 Rue des Frères Delga in Gaillac, a town in the Tarn department of southwest France. The name translates literally as 'The Good Escape' – and we certainly hope it will be an oasis for our customers! However – fun fact! – 'échappée' also means 'breakaway', a term used in cycling parlance to describe when a small number of racers split from the peloton to sprint ahead.
Philippe hails from Toulouse and has a lifelong passion for cycling. In his younger years he raced competitively in road and track events. He has an engineering background but has run his own cycle tour and bike rentals company since 2007. Philippe has an impressive knowledge of the French, Spanish and Italian countryside and knows much of the Pyrenees like the back of his hand. He is fascinated by bikes in all their forms and takes great pleasure in diagnostics and returning bikes to good working order. In his spare time he enjoys yoga, mountain biking and baking banana bread!
A native of Donegal in northwest Ireland, Claire is passionate about cooking and all things food related. In her late twenties, she left a career in the music industry in London to pursue a master's degree in global food security. Her work in nutrition research took her several times to Sub-Saharan Africa. On returning to Ireland, she founded The Légumerie, a food business offering cooking demonstrations and a catering service. When not experimenting in the kitchen, Claire also likes to get on her bike. She has competed in two half Ironman triathlon events but has yet to attempt the full distance (and isn't sure that she will!).
... And Here We Are!
Lured by the beauty of the Tarn, Philippe and Claire fell in love with Gaillac, a wonderfully vibrant and dynamic town. After much travel and continent-hopping, it seemed the perfect place to start a business that would marry their passion for food and cycling. In May 2019 they acquired 20 Rue des Frères Delga in the centre of the town. Following an extensive renovation of the property, La Bonne Echappée will finally open its doors in March 2020. We look forward to welcoming you!