Congratulations Jean Sports!!!
It was 50-years-ago yesterday that Jean Ughetto and his wife Nicole first opened Jean Sports. Jean Sports has been run as a family business ever since and as always been the place to go for touring and mountaineering enthusiasts.
My first-ever purchase in Val d’Isere was a Millet backpack from Chez Jean. I bought several items there during my early-years but I never thought I’d end up with such close ties to the Ughetto family.
When we left Precision Ski after the 93/94 season Alpine Experience was in desperate need of a new home. I asked my French friend Bernard Moog where I should start and he immediately said, “try Jean Sports, they’re the nicest people in town”!
Bernard’s recommendation was one of the best I’ve ever had and I’ll never forget walking into Jean Sports one morning in September. The place was an absolute mess as the Ughetto family were doing their annual renovation of the shop. There was wood everywhere with wires hanging out of the ceiling and dust floating in the air. The place resembled a bombsite!
I was greeted by Jean who was wearing a blue boiler suit that was completely white with plaster-type dust. His face and hair was caked in thick dust and he was quite a sight. He smiled warmly and asked me what I wanted. In my best French I explained about our ski school and our need of some office space. After listening to my pitch he just grinned at me and pointed to an empty corner of the shop and said, “that’s your office over there”. And that was the start of our wonderful relationship with the Ughetto family!
‘Alpine’ is incredibly grateful for the help and support that we’ve received from Jean Sports over the years. It has been an almost perfect marriage as we’ve both benefited from our working relationship over the years. (I say ‘almost’ perfect marriage because we all know that that doesn’t exist!)
Over the years we’ve always taken turns hosting a social evenings with drinks and superb nibbles. We’ve had Savoyarde evenings, thanks to the Ughettos’s. Rob and TJ have supplied Scottish fare while Pietro has covered Italy and JM and Oli have brought Pyrenean delicacies and wine. (All we’re missing is Canadian buffalo and Australian kangaroo!) Our social evenings have always been a great success and enjoyed by one and all.
The 20/21 winter will be our 27th season affiliated with Jean Sports. I sincerely hope that we’ll be able to continue on together for many more years to come! Thank you Jean Sports!