Tributes paid to '˜inspirational' baker and former Southsea businessman

TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Southsea businessman, who has died aged 63.

Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 3:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:58 pm
Jean-Marie Guedeney, founder of La Croissanterie

Jean-Marie Guedeney, formerly of Festing Grove, Southsea, was well-known for his baguette business La Crossanterie. He set up the shop in Osborne Road in 1988 after running the burger bar in the Tricorn.

He started the business by selling products at markets in Portsmouth and Fareham from his father-in-law’s business Lait’s Bakery.

Jean-Marie was born in September 1954 in Vaux-Saules in France and studied catering at Dijon College. He met wife Kathleen while working on a restaurant boat in Geneva in 1972, before completing national service in France and then working in Paris.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He moved to Southsea in 1976 and married Kathleen in 1977. They had three sons – Andre, John and Alex. Andre took over La Croissanterie in 2016 and renamed it Andre’s.

Andre, 37, said: ‘My pa was an inspiration.’

Jean-Marie opened La Crossanterie shops in Guildhall Walk and Cosham. He also franchised the business, with shops in Winchester and Chichester.

Kathleen said: ‘Everybody said that he used to make the best bacon and egg rolls you could buy.’

She added: ‘He had catering in his blood. His mother said he used to walk around with a tea towel when he was three years old saying that he was going to be a waiter. It was his dream to have a catering business.

‘He was the life and soul and a very caring father. He was proud of France and always had the French flag out whenever there was an event.’

Jean-Marie was a member of the Portsmouth and Southsea Round Table for more than 10 years and he had a keen interest in off-roading.

Jean-Marie died on Sunday, June 3, at his home in France. His funeral will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes, Bransbury Park, Eastney on Friday, July 6, at 1.30pm. Friends and family are invited to a wake at the Still and West in Old Portsmouth from 2.30pm.