Horse-drawn grocery shop is a hit during Covid lockdown in France

When lockdown limited people’s movements in Tarbes, Hautes-Pyrénées, Mr Daunis came up with an idea to bring groceries to the customer

'I would love it if others heard about my hippo-épicerie and were inspired to set one up' says coachman Philippe Daunis

A horse-drawn grocery shop is putting smiles on the faces of customers.

Coachman Philippe Daunis said: “Seeing the cart and horse always brings a smile and reminds older people of their childhood. It’s non-polluting, carbon-free and keeps old skills alive.”

After having the idea for his horse-drawn grocery, Mr Daunis was able to set it up in Tarbes, Hautes-Pyrénées, when the lockdown limited people’s movements.

He was helped by members of his association, Ris’cocher, which aims to restart horse-drawn transport in towns.

“I was lucky enough to be taught coach-driving skills from an old professional 20 years ago, and now I try to pass this on to others. Some towns already take children to school in horse-drawn wagons, and I had the idea to develop a shop.

“I would love it if others heard about my hippo-épicerie and were inspired to set one up.”

Ris’cocher is keen to help others learn new skills and can be contacted at

Apart from school runs in several towns and on farms and vineyards, horses are also used to collect bins in Hennebont, Morbihan, Brittany.

After Covid closed the ski lifts, horses take youngsters for ski lessons in Saint-Léger-les- Mélèzes, Hautes-Alpes.

Meanwhile, Maringote horse-drawn carriages are back to take visitors to Mont-Saint-Michel.

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