FRANCOPHILES TALK THE TALK AT BAKERY
March 27, 2007
Author: Produced by Hal Mattern, The Arizona Republic
Contributors: William Hermann and JJ Hensley Estimated printed pages: 2
The conversation at most Valley coffeehouses is typically in English, and
But ma foi! At Pleaissant Croissants bakery in south Tempe, the coffee talk,
c'est francais, pur et simple.
At least on Fridays between about 10 a.m. and noon.
That's the day Arian Farvin meets with folks who want to polish their French
conversational skills. As the coffee is sipped and the croissants are munched,
Farvin helps adults get ready for a trip across the Atlantic or perhaps just
improve their ability to enjoy authors like Charles Baudelaire, Guy de
Maupassant and Emile Zola in their original language.
But the emphasis at the Friday sessions is on conversation. Farvin said most of
his students have a knowledge of French fundamentals and may be able to read it
pretty well, "but it's one thing to read French and quite another to speak it."
"There just is no substitute for regular conversation in French or any other
language you're trying to master," he said.
Farvin spent several years in France as part of a church mission. Community
service is a requirement in his studies at Mesa Community College, so he figured
tutoring would be a good way to comply.
He said anyone who would like to join into the French conversation sessions is
welcome to drop by Pleaissant Croissants, on the northwestern corner of Rural
and Elliot roads.
Salesman, baker, granola maker
He has been a baker and a salesman, but Jay Lunt measures his future in handfuls
The Mesa resident, who works for a janitorial supply company, started making
all-natural granola in his garage and giving away bags of the goodies as gifts.
But when the former Las Vegas bakery owner realized how well-liked his
collection of oats and fruits was, he saw the opportunity to move the operation
from garage to grocer.
The product is manufactured by a Tempe-based company and is sold at the AJ's
Fine Foods in Chandler.
Lunt also is trying to get Nature's Gold granola in other area grocers, too,
because of the growing demand for more-healthful foods. And he says his product
is even more nutritious than some items touted as health foods.
"Look at the list of ingredients on the back of the PowerBar, it's like a
paragraph," Lunt said. "Mine has oats, honey, raisins, apricots, cranberries and
Not to mention...
... Drug war recruits: The Partnership for a Drug-Free America's Arizona chapter
has named three Valley businesspeople to its board. They are:
Chandler resident Jyllene Miller, executive vice president of Arete Sleep
Health; Scottsdale resident Michelle Petersen, president of Strategic Learning
Solutions; and Phoenix resident Peter Woodfork, assistant general manager of the
CAPTION: Arian Farvin (center, facing camera) leads a French-language
conversation group at Pleaissant Croissants in south Tempe. The group meets on
Edition: Final Chaser
Column: SEEN & HEARD