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The Hoffmann Family of Companies plans to acquire Bleu Provence, the award-winning French restaurant that has operated for nearly 25 years on the Crayton Cove corner of Eighth Street South and 12th Avenue South. After the Old Naples business changes hands this summer, it will continue to operate status quo, Naples-based Hoffmann reports.  

“All the staff will be staying on at Bleu Provence and we’ll be adding a private club section to the restaurant during the redesign phase,” said David Hoffmann, founder and chairman of the Hoffmann Family of Companies.  

After retiring to Naples from Provence, France, wine expert Jacques Cariot and his wife, Executive Chef Lysielle Cariot, opened Bleu Provence in 1999. Known for its extensive wine list and French bistro fare, the business includes a retail shop with thousands of wines. Bleu Provence recently was honored with Wine Spectator’s prestigious Grand Award for the ninth consecutive year.  

In addition to the fine-dining restaurant, the Hoffmanns will acquire Bleu Provence’s 4,800-square-foot commercial building at 1234 Eighth St. S. The Cariots purchased the 1950 structure near the City Dock for $1.5 million in 2008, but the pending sale price has not been disclosed.  

“We’re excited about continuing to expand our footprint in Naples,” Hoffmann said in a news release. “We’ll continue to invest in our businesses and people, as well as look for new opportunities in the area.”  

The Bleu Provence sale obviously had been in the works for more than a year. Gregory Hoffmann, David’s son and co-CEO of the Hoffmann Family of Companies with his brother, Geoff, incorporated Hoffmann Bleu Provence LLC in early June 2022, but the status of the company changed from active to inactive in January of this year, according to records from the Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations.  

The Hoffmanns formerly owned local restaurants such as The Bevy and part of the Tacos & Tequila Cantina concept, but they sold those holdings. The company’s real estate portfolio, though, still includes the buildings that are home to local restaurants, such as Sails, The French, Grappino, The Bevy and Sushi-Thai downtown.  

The Hoffmanns were attracted to the wine-centric aspect of Bleu Provence. Their wine investments have become a trend. The family’s passion project is part of the $150 million investment it is making with the purchase of numerous wineries and vineyards and a goal to create a wine destination in the Missouri wine country region where they got their start.   

Wine also has been prominent in the family’s philanthropic causes. Both David and Jerri Hoffmann serve on the board of trustees for the Naples Children & Education Foundation, which hosts its annual fundraiser, the Naples Winter Wine Festival. A personal donation in spring 2022 launched the Hoffmann Family of Companies Wine Laboratory at Florida Gulf Coast University. 

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