INDIAN ROCKS BEACH — Luigi de Marchi, 22, took down the first mini Eiffel Tower from the front of Cafe de Paris, 2300 Gulf Blvd., several weeks ago. It had grown old and lost its luster, after 13 years of service at the French bakery owned by his parents, Valerie and Xavier.
However, customers missed it, and de Marchi installed a new one.
"I put it up about a week ago, and I didn't think much about it, but now, looking back, it is interesting that we did that, just days before the attack on France,'' he said.
Saturday, a constant stream of customers made their way to the front of the business, where de Marchi served up pastries, crepes and other goodies with his father. The customers expressed concern for the French family.
"It was overwhelming to know how many people were thinking of us,'' he said. "Our regulars know we are from France, and they automatically wanted to know if we had family in Paris. Luckily, we do not. We are from Bergerac, about five hours away.''
One woman placed a bucket filled with flowers at the foot of their 8-foot tower.
"It feels so good to know people care,'' de Marchi said.