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 !
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.
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!