A new central kitchen

The central kitchen is an essential service that is still unknown to Choletais and Choletais. From this establishment, nearly 3,000 meals go every day to the city’s various school restaurants, the Cholet Animation Enfance Recreation Centers, the CISPA Green Classes, Early Childhood Structures, Autonomy Homes, and beneficiaries of the Adomi Facil’s home meal delivery service.

A building that no longer meets expectations

The central kitchen, built in 1989, has become redundant. The future equipment, with a production capacity of 4,000 meals per day, will make it possible to fulfill our desire for quality food by integrating a global educational approach. With a cost of the works of 5.4 million euros, the new central kitchen, with the project of the Salle des Fêtes, is one of the largest investments of this beginning of the mandate.Gilles Bourdouleix, Mayor of Cholet and President of the Cholet Agglomeration.

The current building, built in 1989, no longer meets expectations, both functionally and technically. †Given the complexity of a rehabilitation and the need for continuity of public service, this equipment is destined to be scrapped.“explains Frédéric Pavageau, Deputy Mayor for Finance and New Structural Development Projects. With a production capacity of 4,000 meals per day, delivered cold to about fifty locations, the future central kitchen will be a performance equipment.”With this project, we want to have a modern establishment with functionalities that meet the new obligations, in particular those of the Egalim law applicable on January 1, 2022.“, says Olivier Baguenard, Deputy Mayor for Education.

A new regulatory framework, therefore, but also new needs and new practices: a vegetable room to be able to work better with raw products (peeling, cutting, slicing), a hot and cold diet room, an adapted waste room or even a kitchen and a pedagogical garden for the care of groups of children. “We want to increase our good food campaigns, targeting children and different audiences“, adds Olivier Baguenard.

The end of plastic containers

As part of the development of the project, the municipality initially opted to use biodegradable containers. However, following the advice of the National Food Council, it appears that these containers are made wholly or partly from plastic. It was therefore decided to use only stainless steel containers, an inert, reusable and durable material. In total, approximately 7,000 stainless steel gastronorm containers are required. †This new orientation has an impact on the initial project, especially on an operational level. We had to take a closer look at the storage, the washing and the whole packaging process. Result: a global added value of 1.4 million euros”, says Frédéric Pavageau.

The original program of the operation has therefore been revised to include in particular:

  • extension of the property;
  • the addition of a trolley washing machine;
  • change of packaging material;
  • the addition of a set of carts and shelves for bin and lid storage;
  • change of conveyor to dishwasher.

Despite everything, the City foresees a legal obligation that sets the deadline at 2025, thereby confirming its desire to build new facilities in line with its public health and sustainable development policies.



Non-contractual images – © Michot Architectes


Particular attention has been paid to the working comfort of the 22 agents involved in the preparation of meals: ergonomics of the different workstations, high-tech equipment, natural light in the workshops… Covering an area of ​​​​almost 1,400 m², the building will meet the environmental regulations RE 2020. Integrated rainwater management is preferred.
The area surrounding the site of the future central kitchen will have a more natural infiltration of rainwater, limiting the artificial nature of the soil and illustrating the municipality’s desire to preserve the environment as best as possible.

Did you know ?

Welcoming a child during the meridian break costs an average of € 14.54 (in 2019). For its part, the municipality only asks parents on average € 2.93. The difference is paid directly by the Collectivity.

What does the Egalim law say?

Food, plastic waste, animal welfare… several provisions of the so-called Egalim law (law no. 2018-938 of 30 October 2018 on the balance of trade relations in the agricultural and food sector and healthy, sustainable and accessible food for all ) relate to school catering. In addition to these obligations, there are those of the Climate and Resilience Act.

In concrete terms, this is what the Collectivity must provide for its collective catering:

  • a vegetarian menu per week (already prepared);
  • diversification of protein sources;
  • fight against food waste (already implemented);
  • 50% range of sustainable products, of which 20% products from organic farming (already implemented);
  • ban on plastic containers (cooking, heating, serving) and single-use disposable tableware (planned in the central kitchen project);
  • inform guests about the share of sustainable and quality products (in progress)

Fun on the board

Currently, in the Cormier district, in the central municipal kitchen, the 2020 meals are prepared (on average) daily served in the public schools of Cholet and Puy-Saint-Bonnet. The City has entrusted this assignment to the company Sodexo until 2023. Together, they wanted to go beyond the simple delivery of meals and anticipate the new provisions imposed by the Egalim Act, which will apply from January 1, 2022. Through a notebook of cargo and meticulous monitoring, the city imposes a high-quality approach on its service providers that prioritizes local deliveries and fresh, seasonal produce.

Egalim law – the 10 good points of school catering:

  • Label Rouge meats for stir-fries and Label Rouge poultry;
  • filleted fish, guaranteed boneless;
  • organic bread with every meal since 2010;
  • fruits and vegetables: carrots, tomatoes, white cabbage, red cabbage, cucumber, beetroot, celery, zucchini, radishes, peppers, fennel, green salads, apples, organic pears from local producers and organic bananas and kiwis;
  • organic fruit puree;
  • organic grains and pulses and Camargue PGI rice;
  • organic curd / organic yogurt from local producers;
  • organic cheeses, AOP or AOC;
  • one vegetarian menu per week;
  • exclusion of GMOs and palm oil.

And because good food is above all enjoying good food, the city of Cholet has developed a whole approach to taste education: themed meals, events such as “My school, my menu”, culinary workshops, visits to the central kitchen … Objectives: for the child to be able to go beyond the “I like/I don’t like it”, to taste and appreciate. The result: less food waste and better knowledge and support of the child by the teams.

The new central kitchen

» 4000 meals a day
» 7000 stainless steel gastro containers
» 1400m²
» 12 months of work
» €5.4 million investment

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