L’EXPO, a community brasserie in Belfort

Fondation VINCI pour la Cité is supporting L’EXPO brasserie in Belfort, a professional integration company that hires people who have been unemployed for a long time and/or people with disabilities. Damien and Patricia, two VINCI Energies employees, decided to become patrons for the project.

Opened in February 2022, L’EXPO is a brasserie restaurant able to seat up to 45 diners inside and a further 25 outside. L’EXPO also offers a take-away service and delivers meal trays to business and individual clients.

The project was born when the La Fondation de l’Armée du Salut de Belfort decided to bolster and expand its efforts in social and professional reintegration in the Belfort area of north-east France. The organisation was keen to meet the ever-growing need for qualified labour in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Operating in the social and solidarity economy, L’EXPO hires people who have been unemployed for a long time and/or people with disabilities.

This initiative didn’t go unnoticed at Fondation VINCI pour la Cité, which donated €12,000 to help L’EXPO renovate its kitchen. Searching for a patron for the project, the foundation turned to Damien Autrusseau, head of Actemium Maintenance Belfort, and Patricia Hall, HR Manager at Cigma. The pair ensures the donation made by the foundation is used as intended and that the work is carried out properly.

As well as being involved in renovating L’EXPO’s kitchen, Damien pledged to call on the restaurant’s catering services for the events organised by his company. He also decided to harness his network, encouraging local businesses to eat at L’EXPO. As for his decision to become a patron for this project within the foundation, Damien said, “I believe solidarity means not forgetting people who are struggling, and giving a bit of your time to help others find fulfilment.”