While researching an article for ecosalon, my quest to find local producers brought me to the Marché Cours de Vincennes. This market is a favorite among my local foodie friends as it attracts more regional maraîchers than you will find in most Paris markets these days. The market takes up a good bit of the Cours de Vincennes in the 12th arrondissement and local vendors are offset by a variety of Rungis-stocked food stands and vendors hawking cheap knives and other kitchen/household utensils.
However, the keen-eyed market goer will pick out a few local representatives, selling their seasonal, farm-grown produce in stands scattered about the market.
If you're looking to support Ile-de-France producers, Marché Cours de Vincennes provides the choice of a handfull of farmers that grow their produce within about a small radius of Paris.
The first local producer I visited was Mr. Martinet, who was selling lush spinach and lettuce, all grown at his farm only 30 km away from Paris. Also on sale were seasonal root vegetables including radishes, green onions, and turnips.
Another local vendor was Bernard Groult, who was selling some early-season apples, along with rhubarb and pears. Groult's farm is also just under 40 km from Paris and is easy to find if you look out for the sign their stand proudly displays, attesting to the fact that their goods are Productions de l'Ile de France. Not far from Groult's stand you'll find Gaec de Villedeau, whose stand also sells produce grown in the vicinity of Paris.
In addition to local vendors, Marché Cours de Vincennes has a few organic stands which include artisinal honey and other preserves. There is also an artisinal goat cheese maker, whose selection is small but includes a delicious crottin de chêvre.
With so many local and artisinal alternatives, this marché makes it easy to avoid industrial food and pre-packaged produce.
I would highly recommend the Marché Cours de Vincennes as a destination for a locavore's treasure hunt- you'll be sure to not end up empty handed.
Marché Cours de Vincennes Cours de Vincennes 75012 M° Picpus (line 6) Hours: Wednesday: 7h-14h30 Saturday- 7h-15h