While I prefer Galentine's Day over the more traditional Valentine's Day, I think celebrating love is a pretty great idea in general- especially given the horrors perpetrated by the very un-loving Trump administration these past few weeks.
Relationships are full of challenges, whether with your bestie, your partner, or yourself, and they are also full of rewards -all of which deserve a glass of bubbly and more than one day a year of recognition (okay, more than one glass of bubbly, too while we're at it)!
As Valentine's Day approached it occurred to me that the Paris food scene is full of happy couples that not only live together, but work together, too. Doubling their commitment to extend beyond each other but into their careers as well is an impressive act of love and collaboration.
Some of my favorite places to eat and drink in Paris exist thanks to the dedication and creativity behind these love-fueled collaborations. So in honor of one of Valentine's Day, here are a few of my favorite couples in the Paris food scene!
Amanda & Louis: Boneshaker Doughnuts
It hasn't yet been a year since Boneshaker Doughnuts has existed as a brick and mortar doughnut shop in the 2nd arrondissement, but the story behind how the little bakery came to be goes back much further. "Louis and I met in Paris in 2002" co-founder Amanda Scott explained to me. "He and my then-boyfriend bartended together at the same Irish pub in St. Germain des Près. Back then, he sported a shoulder-length ponytail (!!), a billy goat beard, and enormous lamb chop sideburns. I remember watching him once, around 3 am, balancing on top of kegs and racing them across the pub. It's funny to look back and think that we'd end up married - neither of us had any idea at the time! "
Their paths crossed again seven years later, when they were both single and developed a mutual crush. "it look him a year to kiss me...and another year after that for us to decide to make it official." After that, things moved quickly, "Lou and I got married in 2013, our son, Loïc, was born in 2014, and we started making doughnuts in 2015. We opened to doors to our shop, Boneshaker, in 2016."
Both veterans of the service industry, the couple dreamed of having a place of their own. "Louis and I knew that we wanted our business to combine high-quality ingredients and craftsmanship with a casual, happy vibe that suited our lifestyle... we realized a doughnut shop would encompass all of those things, as well as coffee (unlimited access to delicious coffee is definitely a perk!)" American born, Amanda had lots of examples to inspire her from her homeland, "we modeled Boneshaker on the mom and pop doughnut shops that you find in American beach towns, with a Parisian touch."
The key to working with the one you love? "We’re often asked how we manage to live and work together," Amanda says. "I guess the simplest (and most eyeroll-worthy) answer is that we genuinely enjoy each other's company. We laugh a lot. Also, the fact that I'm upstairs in the kitchen and he's downstairs in the shop probably helps a bit - we each have our own roles within the business, and a bit of distance on bad days. And doughnuts."
Jaclyn & Pierre: Biérocratie
Jaclyn and Pierre, co-owners of the Biérocratie in the 13th arrondissement, hadn't always planned on making a living out of bringing great craft beer to the people of Paris. Originally from the U.S., Jaclyn came to Paris to study to be a pastry chef at Le Cordon Bleu while Pierre was building a career in computer programming.
A housewarming party held by mutual friends would bring the two together one fateful night, but the idea to go into business together didn't come until later. "After a couple of years together, both of us experienced a sort of overall dissatisfaction with our respective careers - I loved working as a pastry chef, but never had enough hours, and Pierre was getting pushed into management positions at his IT development job." explains Jaclyn Gidel. "We got to talking about it, and realized that it was a really great opportunity to quit our jobs and create something together. Our common love of beer, paired with the growing craft beer movement, inspired us to open up Biérocratie."
Jaclyn and Pierre continue to stock quality craft beer in their shop as well collaborate on beer events with local bars like Les Trois 8. The paris has even embarked on another collaboration together: brewing their own beer! We'll keep an eye on what they have in store for us next!
Maily & Jocelyn: Le Triangle
Maily and Jocelyn, two-thirds of the team behind microbrewery and restaurant Le Triangle, may have opened a business in Paris, but their story started abroad.
"I was working in Montreal for a French company and Jocelyn came to work for us as a freelance graphic designer," explains Maily Malfreyt. "He was already an amateur brewer and working at Vices et Versa in Montreal. The funny thing is I wasn't at all interested in beer at the time- I thought we would have nothing to talk about. Seven years later we work together every day and I find myself serving and selling beer!"
The formula works, with Jocelyn making the beer, Maily greeting and taking care of guests with her signature smiles and warmth, and Laurent, Maily's brother in the kitchen, representing the third side of the triangle.
Finding balance while working with loved ones is key, Maily says. "If I had one thing to say about working with my partner it's this: if we're still together today it's because we're very complimentary and different when it comes to working and our personalities. We're not in each other's way and we each have our job. There's also a mutual admiration," Maily adds, "I've always had a passion for passionate people!"
Happy Valentine's Day to these happy couples and to all of you out there making it work together! I'd love to hear more about couples in the industry- feel free to leave your favorite Paris partnerships in the comments!