And the idea was born
by Pierre Boyer, founder.
« Jean Connaît Un Rayon - Code Name : JC1R.
I am going to share with you the story of "Jean Connaît Un Rayon". This hybrid 'cycle & travel' concept store just opened its doors in Deauville (Calvados).
Come and meet us at 19 Quai de l'Impératrice Eugénie, a few steps away from the Tourism Office and Deauville-Trouville train station!
JC1R is a concept-store covering several themed activities:
RENTAL & SALE
The rental “in freedom” and the sale of mid-range and high-end electric bicycles made in France. Whether they are urban bikes for short city trips, mountain bikes, or hybrid bikes to discover the superb surrounding countryside, you will find a wide choice of cycles at Jean.
A LOCAL TRAVEL AGENCY
The creation of unique tailor-made experiences and stays in Calvados which will favor a “local” and authentic approach to get a taste of Normandy's terroir and traditions as well as its natural heritage. We are crafting local tours for individuals and small groups, short stays of 2-3 up to 7 days to help people better discover this beautiful region.
CAFETERIA TERRASSE & TAKE AWAY LUNCH BOX
Picnics for your bike 's excursions, with the emphasis on local and regional products thanks to a small cafeteria. Welcome to our nice and chic terrace, where you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee and chill enjoying the view of the boats. Your lunch box can be prepared on request (pre-order 48h), making your life easier, with a nice break during your cycling adventures.
TRAVEL CORNER - LONG-HAUL
The last focus (but not least) of the business is a travel corner, a sort of VIP lounge “like at home” which will offer a set of long-haul tailor-made destinations (with flat screen, videos, testimonies,...) with our partner Terra Group. We will help you to create your holiday of a lifetime. We also offer other French regions that we know particularly well such as Southern Corsica.
So, in a nutshell, you can grasp the great and diverse “Jean Connaît Un Rayon” offering.
HOW DID IT ALL START?
The first idea was to make a small local travel agency. I have been organizing tailor-made trips throughout Latin America for more than 20 years and "thanks" to the COVID pandemic and the need to redefine our industry, I naturally thought of embarking on a local tourism project that would be meaningful and sustainable in the current climate. So I would use my extensive experience in tailoring long-haul tours and adapt my expertise locally in slow travel style.
As I know the Normandy region fairly well and have family ties there, I decided to set up a travel agency in the glamorous coastal city of Deauville, on the outskirts of Paris (2h drive). The region is beautiful, full of potential and there is still a lot to offer, especially in the interior of Calvados.
In March 2020, on the verge of signing my lease contract, I decide to put the project on hold… too risky, little visibility on what will happen… In short, let the storm pass and refine the idea.
As we went out of lockdown, at the beginning of June, the project started to take shape. The lockdown was behind us, I had time to think about it and especially thanks to 'La Serre' a work seminar we organized with Terra Group, focusing on post COVID green transition in travel, and the various brainstorming workshops conducted at the home of our friend and partner Togezer This gave me enough material to review and fine-tune my local travel agency project, which ended up being still too risky at that time given the pandemic... I just had to wait for the right time and in the meantime, continue to explore the idea and improve it!
In Paris, the electric bicycle is booming and the exodus to the Normandy countryside begins in early June. The town hall of Deauville, with whom I have been in contact for a few weeks, supports many projects and is looking at expanding its range of services around cycling... Cycle lane are developping fast and many green lanes are still being studied.
Finally and after some talks with the Mayor and the city council, I had the opportunity to rent a local in a great location. We are located on Deauville 's peninsula, opposite the marina and the entrance to the Pierre & Vacances residences, very close to the two new towers. This prime location also has the advantage of being around 100 meters from the train station and a stone's throw from the Tourist Office. This recently renovated district is in full expansion and is mainly accessible to pedestrians and cyclists.
Finally, JC1R opened its doors in July 2021, as the summer season started and is offering :
I hope this project will find a favorable response to demanding local customers who are eager to take a break.
I am in the starting blocks to develop this great project which seems to be perfectly in tune with our times. I hope you will feel good at "Jean Connaît Un Rayon", enjoying a coffee or a nice ride in the region! This new store will offer beautiful tailor-made tours in Normandy which, I hope, will complement nicely the traditional local tourism offer.
To conclude, I would like to say that I had the chance to live for nearly 15 years abroad where I co-created Terra, a collective of 16 locally-based agencies across the world, designing unique trips in about twenty destinations. This experience has led me to travel and live on a daily basis all over Latin America, particularly in Bolivia, Peru and Argentina.
In all these adventurous years, we learn a lot from the people we meet along the way.
In particular, we learn to put a lot of things into perspective and to overcome daily difficulties and surprises.
“Todo posible , nada seguro “ (Nothing is guaranteed but everything is possible !)
This is the motto of these Latin countries. Setting up projects from scratch in these countries is a real challenge and a daily “struggle” because, unlike our Western societies, there is no help to be expected from the State… Basically, every man for himself and we try to do our best in the best of all possible worlds.
This hybrid shop is clearly a beautiful challenge, there will certainly be twists, struggles and unforeseen events, and also perhaps at the end of the road the satisfaction of having explored another path and proposed a new form of local travel.
And that’s the spice of life too, right?
Success is rarely linear and the road is sometimes long and winding ... Like a cycling pass !!!
Jean and his team
Corsican by adoption and Alsatian at heart, Pierre, founder of JC1R, is a visionary entrepreneur with an adventurous soul. Graduated from EM Strasbourg and in full exploration of the Andes, he started a new business as he launched his first local agency, Terra Bolivia with his partner Fabrice Pawlak in 1998. In 2000, he created Terra Peru then Terra Argentina in 2006... His enthusiasm allowed him to support the expansion of Terra Group. Bon vivant and great wine lover, he launched the Vino Mundo collection, a selection of gourmet wine tours around the world. Golfer enthusiast, you will find him on weekends on the green, when he is not in the saddle, checking out new Norman surprises for you by bike in slow tourism mode or playing salsa or tango tunes with his sax! Corsican by adoption, he also likes to chill out with a good Pisco Sour (Peruvian influence). Salud!
Originally from Normandy, our store Manager has got the travel bug. On the professional side, after studying at Infocom in Lille, Camille decides to take off and cross the Atlantic to go to Costa Rica. Beaches with fine sand, exotic flora and fauna, enchanted landscapes ... It could almost look like a vacation, but she went there to work as a MICE Project Manager. She then worked at the Congress Office of Le Havre as a commercial assistant in Business Tourism. On the personal side... She wasn't afraid to ride a zipline stretched 800 meters above the ground and was totally exhilarated by it... She has no fear! This experienced challenger and adventurer is also a canyoning enthusiast. Cheerful and sparkling, Camille will undoubtedly brighten up your day. Her favorite summer cocktail? The strawberry mojito of course, and very fresh please!
Sam is originally from Bresse, in Ain region, in France. Our Marketing & Communication trainee graduated with a law degree in Lyon, and is currently a master's student at ESCAET, a business school specializing in Tourism and Travel in Aix-en Provence. Samantha loves Koh Lanta, both the Thai island where she went to do eco-volunteering in an animal refuge, and the famous TV show. Her best moment of the day is obviously sunset, as each of them is such a unique and magical experience. And in Deauville, mademoiselle is lucky! Great outdoors enthusiast, nature and especially wildlife lover, she works for an animal protection association based in her hometown, Bourg-en-Bresse. Finally, this lovely smiling young lady, who enjoys life to the fullest, will play the ukulele for you, while sipping her favorite summer drink, the Piña Colada!
Celine, travel prod guru, from Barcelona, works as our product development / travel consultant. She grew up between the Alps and Brittany, discovering the joys of cycling, hiking and sailing, which inspired her taste for travel and exploration. 'Travel' is the magic word that sums up her life. Latin America has no more secrets for her, nor salsa for that matter, after 4.5 years on the dance floor across the continent, Olé! Conservation projects in Australia, exotic life in Bangkok, volunteering in Zanzibar, product manager in the UK, she has traveled all over the world... (and we would love to see the photos!!!) At Terra group, she manages the English-speaking market, and the adventure continues on the Côte Fleurie with local experiences that will awaken your appetite to discover the 'other' Normandy. Give her bread, wine and a piece of Pont-L'Évêque, and her smile will cheer you up... Another favorite is Caipirinha which sends her back to the beaches of Brazil, ta bom!