Reconversion: the former accounting assistant becomes a pastry chef at 51

The TV effect Pierre Hermé, Mercotte and Cyril Lignac played in the professional retraining of Anna Maria Scarpa Roche. “Culinary shows have finally convinced me and made me want to create pretty and sympathetic pastries”, explains this former assistant accountant. “The world of accounting firms was not my thing. “

No more numbers, hello cream puffs! The one who used to spend her free time in the kitchen to try out new recipes, has therefore decided to make it her profession. In October 2019, she created her own pastry business, La Turinoise, in Pau.

Market start

Anna Maria Scarpa Roche started by going back to school. In 2017, to professionalize in pastry making, she approached Cap Emploi, a support structure for disabled workers – She was recognized as a disabled worker for back pain problems – and managed to obtain funding for her CAP. “I had several interviews, put together a file and also obtained a grant of 5,000 euros from Agefiph. ”

For seven months, she alternates theoretical courses at the vocational school of Morlaas and internships in local pastry shops to perfect her technique. The apprentice obtains her exam in 2018, and decides to operate a smooth retraining, supported in her business creation by the BGE network. She started out, at first, without a shop and sold her recipes on village markets from Lescar and Serres-Castet, on Saturdays and Sundays. “Before taking the next step, I wanted to test my recipes and develop my business in the markets,” explains Anna Maria Scarpa Roche. The test is conclusive.

So, in the summer of 2019, she invested in the development of a 10 m laboratory2 at his home, and the acquisition of a trailer and a refrigerated display case. She then increased her production capacities and developed new recipes inspired by her native Italy. The shopkeeper, born in Turin, moved to Pau in 2002.

For her tiramisu and dry cakes, she brings almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios from Italy. Anna Maria Scarpa Roche also has her specialties, which have given her a local aura, such as these Sicilian cannoli, crispy cream rolls made from greuil, this local sheep’s milk cheese; or the Pastiera Napoletana, a shortbread cake with ricotta cream, orange zest, candied lemons and vanilla; but also the Caramello, a dark chocolate mousse with caramel and a crisp.

Opening of a store in Pau

In addition to selling in the markets, the pastry chef offers her first desserts on the locavores short circuit platforms of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, such as La ruche qui dit oui. “We deliver around 30 cakes per week to the platforms on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. A person then takes care of preparing the baskets and delivering directly to customers, ”explains the shopkeeper who has been supported since early 2020 by her husband, formerly a delivery man, to manage purchases and sales.

The Turinese quickly enjoyed great success. With strong growth in turnover, Anna Maria Scarpa Roche decides to devote herself fully to her passion. “We started with little. We did not expect the activity to evolve so well, ”concedes the founder of the Turinese. First change, she abandons the micro-entrepreneur regime to go to reality and adopts the EIRL status in June 2021.

Anna Maria Scarpa Roche has also just opened a Franco-Italian pastry in the city center of Pau. “It’s true that we’ll have to produce more, a hundred cakes a day, get up earlier in the night to be in the shop around 5 am. I was not necessarily prepared for it, but passion completely erases this aspect of the job. To help her, the pastry chef hired a young person in September.

Driven by success, the entrepreneur is already fueling another project, that of opening a fresh pasta shop.

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