Eric exudes kindness, generosity and courage. He knows everyone and everyone knows him. Portrait!
(Reading time 2 minutes)
For three generations, the Tabaud family has been brightening up the faces of the little ones and delighting the older ones. Indeed, in the memory of the people of Courseulles, they have always known the “Paradis des enfants” or the “Petit Paris” its predecessor.
Who has never stood on tiptoe, too small to ride a wooden horse alone, who has never accompanied his children or grandchildren on a ride, promising them a ride at the end of the trip?
Eric’s riding school has been an integral part of the heritage of Courseull since 1923. It will soon be 100 years old!
The story begins with his grandfather Marcel. He was the first to set up his shooting range, then his carousel at the time when the Market Square was hosting the Easter Fair. Taking advantage of the first paid holidays and consequently of the development of tourism in Courseulles, Marcel, with the help of his four children, animated the resort on a more regular basis.
The rest of the year, Eric followed his parents to the local festivals on the Côte de Nacre coast and in the Caen region.
In the early 1970s, at the age of 10, Éric held the cash register and sold his first tickets. That’s how many happy little faces he has seen.
Today he readily admits to having met young children who have become grandparents and who introduce their grandchildren to him.
In 1975, a more modern riding arena was installed to replace the wooden horse. In 1995, the town of Courseulles wanted to bring back a traditional riding school. Eric took the plunge and created the “Paradis des enfants“ from scratch.
Courseulles has always been the family’s home base. Éric is all the more attached to it as in 1979, he met Irène, a young local girl.
Eric notes that the resort is now visited all year round and he wishes to adapt to the demand as well as to the Norman climate. An idea, and then a project, will gradually take shape: the creation of a closed carousel.
After 15 months and 3400 hours of hard work in his building in Dover, Eric was rewarded with the realization of his life’s work. With meticulousness he has shaped one by one his characters, his scenery and of course this impressive structure.
But Eric never runs out of projects or imagination. He has 1000 ideas a day.
The beautiful kiosk in the shape of a big pink candy was installed on the Courseulles seawall in 2012. It was made piece by piece by this self-taught man.
Gourmand’ys is the sweet and savoury meeting place for all those who want to take a break in summer or winter.
Here, through the enticing smell, each of us becomes a child again for a moment of sharing.
“It’s a family affair. My wife and daughter offer an assortment of small treats for all tastes, prepared by themselves: croustillons, chichis, crêpes, waffles, pralines, pommes d’amour. The ice creams come from the Ferme de la Haizerie.
Thanks to the support of his family, Éric can now offer children and adults a dream all year round.