Prix d'Encouragement des Commerces d'Artisanat Alimentaire 2014

Tomme de Savoie at La Fromagerie Goncourt

Every year the city of Paris sponsors a Prix d'Encouragement des Commerces d'Artisanat Alimentaire which rewards small businesses who have started, or taken over, an artisanal culinary endeavor. I was honored to be asked to participate as a jury member on the occasion of the ninth edition of the prize, which offers much needed financial support to independent, engaged entrepreneurs.

The prix d'encouragement is actually several prizes, with five allocations of €8,000 each up for grabs. Our job, as a jury made up of representatives from local government and unions and professionals in the food industry, was to choose the most deserving candidates from 15 very impressive applications.

It was difficult to choose among all the applicants and ultimately we decided to split two of the prizes in half so that we could award a total of seven prizes to the inspiring artisans up for consideration.

Thanks so much to the Mairie de Paris, as well as my fellow jurist, Silvi of Que Faire à Paris?  for inviting me to share this experience with them and giving me the opportunity to discover new artisanal addresses in Paris!

It's great to see that the city is actively supporting local businesses and equally exciting to learn about the creative and conscious projects springing up in our community. So here they are, the seven winners of this year's Prix d'Encouragement des Commerces d'Artisanat Alimentaire !

 

Clément Brossault of La Fromagerie Goncourt

La Fromagerie Goncourt (1 rue Abel Rabaud, 75011)

Clément Brossault spent a year traveling around France by bike and tasting different regional cheeses before opening La Fromagerie Goncourt in the 11th arrondissement. This accountant-turned-cheese monger has created a space that highlights his passion for his new career and his knowledge of the country's iconic cheeses. Never far from his vélo all deliveries are made by bike and the shop has a zero sac policy, eschewing plastic bags and establishing itself ahead of the curve on this waste reducing initiative, which the city of Paris plans to impose across the board in the coming year.

 

Pastries at Une Souris et des Hommes

Une Souris et des Hommes (17 rue de Maubeuge, 75009)

This cute concept store combines books with baked goods, creating a welcoming space for both learning and lounging. Régis, Inès, and Damien, the team behind Une Souris et des Hommes, crowd funded their boutique, which is their first small business venture. Coming from literary and culinary backgrounds, the young entrepreneurs complement each other and are sharing their competency with this hybrid shop that is the first of its kind in the neighborhood. The gorgeous pastries and thoughtful decor combined with a real engagement with the local community make Une Souris et des Hommes one of our favorite new addresses in Paris.

 

Jojo & Co. (Marché Beauvau, Place d'Aligre, 75012)

As a devoted supporter of Paris markets, I'm always happy to see new life brought into the city's marchés. Opened earlier this year, Jojo & Co. is Marché Beauvau's newest tenant. Owner Johanna Roques has opened a sweet little bakery where she makes French and English inspired cakes, cookies, and other simple and delicious baked goods. Her charming stand at the market will surely invite people to explore the market and find that Mme. Roques is in good company.

 

La Maison de la Mozzarella (15 rue Violet, 75015)

La Maison de la Mozzarella is Paris' first artisanal mozzarella producer. This made-in-Paris cheese history abroad, with Italian owner Ciro Rosa bringing his savoir faire when it comes to fromage from his native land and sharing it with his adopted home. With the exception of a few specialty products, like the famous jambon de Paris and of course a growing selection of craft beer, there is very little that can claim to be locally made in the city, I'm happy to see that we can now add this delicious fresh mozzarella to the list!

 

L'Artisan du Sandwich (54 rue d'Amsterdam, 75009)

While the façade of this family-owned sandwich shop may not catch your eye, L'Artisan du Sandwich represents a revolution in lunch options for the area's 9 to 5 crowd. Deciding that they wanted to have time to spend with their children, the husband and wife team behind the bakery has established opening hours that correspond with the local lunch rush but have them home to be able to enjoy dinner en famille. Everything is prepared on site using fresh ingredients and integrating the artisanal bread and baked goods. This simple but all-too-rare approach makes L'Artisan du Sandwich stand out amidst the slew of industrial and plastic wrapped self-catering options in the neighborhood.

 

Boulangerie Chambelland (14 rue Ternaux, 75011)

All the baked goods at Boulangerie Chambelland are gluten-free, but you wouldn't know it by the look of the place- without promoting itself as pandering to this latest food trend, the bakery keeps its concept and its cool by offering quality food in a welcoming environment. Using locally milled rice flour made from France's regional specialty Riz de Camargue, baker Thomas Chambelland has found a dedicated following of Parisians who come from afar to enjoy sandwiches made with fresh bread and what is quickly becoming the bakery's signature menu item- sweet and airy choquettes that make eating gluten free fun.

 

A La Belle Viande (2 rue Jean de la Fontaine, 75016)

When A La Belle Viande owner Serge Horeau was laid off from his previous job he decided to take the opportunity to follow his passion and become a butcher. At 60 years old, this ambitious small business owner had a hard time getting bank loans and financial support in a country where career changes and later-in-life entrepreneurship is seen as suspicious. Always perseverant, Mr. Horeau managed to open his charming boutique which caters both to the wealthy population of the 16th arrondissement as well as the less affluent residents who live in in the nearby low income housing. Keeping his prices low without compromising the quality of his products, this exceptional and ethical business man is just the kind of neighbor that every quartier needs.

 

It warms my heart to see such a great group of committed and passionate people enriching our city! Please go check out these shops on your own and support your local small, artisanal businesses!

Top 5 Markets to Pick up a Bottle for your Paris Picnic (with list of nearby picnic parks!)

bottles Picnic season is upon us and now that the sun is shining we want to get straight to the closest bit of grass or park bench that we can find. During this season, normally modest Parisians have no problem baring their skin and stripping down at the first site of sun, which makes for a whole different kind of people watching during the warmer months. Rolled up sleeves, exposed midriffs, pants secured well above calf level- it's a veritable flesh fest and anyone who has lived a calendar year in Paris knows why- in this beautiful, grey city, there is nothing as precious as a ray of sun.

It goes without saying that during these sunny days you have no time to waste between picking up your crudités and finding a decent bottle of rosé or bière blanche. Thankfully there's your friendly neighborhood market, of which a handful offer not only a selection of fruits and vegetables, but also bottles of picnic-appropriate booze.

Armed with a trusty corkscrew and these five addresses, your picnic season is guaranteed to be a success!

Heirloom vegetables at Joël Thiébault's stand at Marché Président Wilson

Marché Président Wilson: Not only is this market home to two local farmers (including superstar producteur Joël Thiébault) here you can also find a stand selling a selection of wines, some are even natural/organic! Pair your rosé with some of Thiébault's heirloom carrots and radish varieties and you'll go down in picnic history.

Le Parc: Trocadéro Gardens- you're already this close to La Tour Eiffel you might as well just soak it in. Head to the bit of greenery on opposite bank of the besieged monument, where you're close enough for an excellent view, but far enough from the mob to (hopefully) not have your cellphone or wallet stolen.

Wines at Marché Bourse

Marché Bourse: This is a handy market if you're prone to get a late start. One of the few markets that are open late, Marché Bourse is great for hot food (it's a favorite lunch spot for people who work in the neighborhood) and organic wine. Don't get your hopes up for fresh produce at this farmer-free market, but you're guaranteed to find a bottle that will suit your picnic needs and a hot lunch to go with.

Le Parc: A bit of a trek, but worth the trip, Tuileries Garden is a perfect spot for a picnic. Pull up a chair near one of the fabulous fountains or find a more intimate spot in the statue-filled gardens.

en vrac

Marché La Chapelle: Marché La Chapelle, or "Marché de l'Olive" as locals call it, is the former home of the now brick and mortar En Vrac which has moved just down the street, onto the place that extends the reach of this popular neighborhood market. Here you can fill up a reusable bottle of wine (added benefit: no need for a corkscrew!) or buy a more traditional bottle. All wines are natural and exceptional.

Le Parc: Grab a bike and take a quick ride to the Parc de la Villette, whose huge expanses of grass are host to a variety of happenings during the spring and summer months, including outdoor concerts, open-air cinema, and other cultural events.

marché st quentin

Marché St. Quentin: This covered market, which is open both mornings and into the late afternoon, has everything you need for an ethnically diverse picnic, with the Italian deli counter and Portuguese specialty stand standing out as particularly interesting self-catering options. The market is also home to Bierissime a cave à bière stocked with domestic and international craft beer.

Le Parc: Formerly a part of a convent and hospital, the Jardin Villemin is now a public space located next to canal St. Martin. The garden contains a shared community garden as well as a diverse collection of tree and plant varieties- an oasis of nature amidst the train stations and street traffic of this busy quartier.

Jardin Villemin, 75010

Marché Baudoyer: On Wednesdays Marché Baudoyer stays open until dusk, leaving you plenty of time to visit central Paris and then pick up picnic provisions before the sun sets. Home to one wine vendor, who has a selection of natural wines, the market also serves portions of paella, crêpes, and other street food that will pull together your picnic.

Le Parc:  It's not technically a park- but you can't be this close to the Seine without having a picnic on its banks! Head to the closest quai or make your way to the Ile St. Louis and join the satisfied sunbathers as they enjoy a hard-earned spring.

Marché Baudoyer

Marché du Mois: Marché Point du Jour

Marché Point du Jour Marché Point du Jour, located on the outskirts of the 16th arrondissement, sets up along avenue de Versailles three times a week. Offering the neighborhood a large selection of produce, dairy, meats, fish and specialty products this classic market typifies what I've come to expect in my explorations of the city's marchés.

I always pick one end to start at, and wander from there- making sure I leave no stand left unturned. There are certain things I've come to expect from these market visits; vendors teasing and waving at me as I take photos, ladies of a certain age cutting in front of me in line, and having my feet run over by those wretched caddies (I know it's futile, so I won't even try, but if I had the energy I would wage war on these unwieldy arm extensions that trail behind shoppers, destroying everything in their wake).

herbs

The unexpected is always a welcome surprise and, as jaded as this may sound, finding a new farmer at a market always comes as a shock. Marché Point du Jour was well worth the long trek from my cozy corner of the 18th, which I realized when I spotted the Levasseur stand, which was proudly emblazoned with a pennant declaring their maraîchage.

producteur

Farmers from the Ile-de-France, the family makes the 30 minute trip into Paris from their farm in Yvelines three times a week. In addition to this market, they also set up a stand at the market in nearby Rueil-Malmaison.

This is a tricky time for farmers- that in-between-season spell when winter légumes are fading away and our springtime favorites are not yet in full force. Therefore, the transition harvest was sparse yet not lacking in an opportunity to pick up some locally-grown basics; apples, leeks, spinach, and swiss chard.

Spring seemed to arrive more swiftly for Maison Lenoble, whose stand was already stocked with the season's first strawberries and cucumbers. I suspect greenhouses had something to do with this, but didn't quiz them on the point as I was content enough  to see a second Ile-de-France farmer at the market and, honestly, just as equally amped about the prospects of eating strawberries for the first time in a year.

First Fraises

I had encountered Maison Lenoble months ago at Marché Convention and committed to memory the fact that they were also present at Marché Point du Jour. The hope that good things come in twos was what inspired me to make the trip to Maison Lenoble's second location and I'm glad that I did, because I can report that -among the caddies and photogenic veggies and vendors- local producers abound at this market and bring with them the promise of spring.

Marché Point du Jour

Avenue de Versailles 75016

m° Porte de Saint-Cloud (line 9)

Open: Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday 7:00am-2:30pm