Marché du Mois: La Maison POS

La Maison POS is more than a shop, it's a metanarrative- both a particpant in the worldwide locavore movement as well as a humble neighborhood corner store that brings locally grown food even closer to home.

Pierre Olivier Savreux, who opened the shop a year and a half ago, was kind enough to show me around the small, economically used space.
He had been busy arranging the crates that were delivered from Normandy that evening and would be sold the next day, "Tomorrow we will have carrots, cabbage, and bunches of laurel. That's it."
Despite his downplaying of the stock- I did spot some crates of kiwi and apples later- the store has a lot to offer.
Maison POS also stocks many other organic non-perishables, such as honey, wine, sausages and olive oils. The goal of this marché remains simple: to sell a few carefully selected, super fresh, products from not too far away and to stock only what can be sold in a day in order to make room for the next day's delivery.
The selective stock is meant for a select clientele. Savreux told me that he aims to serve the locals, people living in the neighborhood who can pop in and pick up a few things on their way home.
The store's hours reflect this mentality- they are open in the morning for a few hours and then close to reopen the doors for the on-the-way-home-from-work crowd, staying open late for those keeping metro,boulot,dodo hours.

Savreux stocks products he likes and is faithful to the items on his shelves. "We have six wines," he explained to me, "if people want to drink another kind of wine, they can buy it somewhere else." This kind of faith in the product inspires a trust in the decisions POS makes when it comes to bringing the farm to your table.
Most of the products available at POS are from the Normandy or Brittany region of France, including some amazing artisinal butters and cheeses that are currently in stock.
Savreux was clearly proud of his dedicqtion to keeping prices low for his neighbors- the wine is sold at cost and he refuses to inflate prices on speciality items like honey and olive oils, which are often quite costly in organic markets. The store also sells their daily soup, homemade and served up for the modest price of 1 euro a bowl.
Maison POS brings a much welcome militantism when it comes to finding quality products at a reasonable price- so much so that it makes one consider moving to the 11th just to have this bonne adresse in their neighborhood! But for inhabitants of quartiers all over France and the world , this corner store serves as an inspiration, proving that local food vendors can be selective and successful at the same time.

Maison POS
90 rue de Charonne
m° Charonne
Mon: 17h-21h30
Tues-Fri: 11h-14h30/17h-21h30
Sat: 10h-10h

Discovering biocoop

So far, my most favorite discovery since cutting all ties to Carrefour has been biocoop which is literally five minutes away from my home, which makes me feel like the figurative village idiot. I can't believe I have lived in this neighborhood for over a year and never set foot in this wonderland of organic and fairly traded food stuffs and other products.

Biocoop seems to have a wider selection than its chain store competitor, Naturalia, and carries many of the same products- often sold at a lower price. A (totally random) sampling of a few products sold at both locations showed that while some prices were essentially identical (Simpsons Organic Pasta: 2,10€ at both, Lima Blue Tortilla chips 2,21€ at Naturalia and 2,20€ at biocoop) there were some significant price discrepencies on certain products (Danival Organic Tomato Sauce with Tofu: 2,90€ at Naturalia and 2,79€ at biocoop).
Biocoop also offers an extensive selection of bulk dry goods- so instead of paying upwards of 4€ on granola at Naturalia, you can choose your amount and take home enough for a few organic yogurt (of which there is quite a selection at the coop) pilafs for around one euro.
The store also has a large selection of organic wines and beer,
which is much more priced than at Naturalia. You can pick and choose microbrews that hover around 1,80€ a bottle- just be sure not to pick up a non-alcoholic brew by mistake, they are deceptively mixed in with the adult beverages. Our personal favorite is the "Vin des Faucheurs" which is sold for 5,50€ a bottle. This absolutely delightful red is sold to support the faucheurs- activists that cut scythe genitically modified crops (OGM in French)- with the proceeds going to paying these scofflaw farmers fines and legal fees. The bottle explains that, "No insurance can cover the environmental and public health risks linked to OGMs, simply because these risks are incalcuable and irresversible". It is a pleasure to support the civil disobedience of those engaged in the fight against food facism- and the wine is really, really good!
My first visit to biocoop was memorable, I was like a kid in a candy shop and completely mesmerized by my surroundings. As I approached the check-out line I overheard a man, most likely the owner, passionately describing his negotiations with a farmer in Brittany- surely the next member of the coop family- and I hoped to see more radis noir and other products from the fertile Northern territory to be on the shelves soon. I was then checked out with a smile by what I assume to be the other owner of the coop. I then ran home with my goodies and have been enjoying the spoils ever since!
There are biocoops all over France (and Monaco, too!) So go to thier site to find one near you. Here's the info on my Local biocoop:
153, rue Legendre
75017 Paris
01 42 26 10 30
m° Guy Moquet
Bus: 54 & 74 Legendre
Hours of Operation: Monday: 15h30-20h
Tuesday-Saturday: 10h-20h