What are the ingredients that mark out a 100% authentic French delicatessen in Paris? We found them all at l’Epicerie Générale in the 7th arrondissement at 43 rue de Verneuil.
Organic gourmet food shop l’Epicerie Générale is one of the most colourful. Visiting it is a cultural experience in itself for the sheer pleasure of the sight of the tins and jars upon its beautifully stocked shelves and its array of freshly prepared foods.
Glance in the window and you’ll see that l’Epicerie Générale offers the finest organic French fare from carefully-selected local producers. The selection reflects the owners’ passion for rustic, authentic food with a sound environmental track record and a minimal carbon footprint. This is gourmet with a conscience.
A Truly Authentic French Delicatessen in Paris
On sale is smoked tuna from the Île d’Yeu and Le Prince de Paris jambon (made using a 17th-century recipe, and the only ham produced in the capital). You’ll also find crunchy Camargue rice from Provence, caviar from the Pyrenees and handmade cheeses. Don’t miss the Miel Béton (a playing on words between ‘concrete honey’ and ‘super-duper honey’), made on the roofs of Saint Denis in north Paris by an organic collective group which raises awareness about the extinction of bees. Take away options include crisp salads, gourmet sandwiches and gluten-free pastries.
Organic gourmet grocer Lucio Hornero opened this authentic French delicatessen in Paris in February 2011. Since then, it has been such a success that in 2014 a second, larger branch of l’Épicerie Générale opened in the ninth arrondissement,
The owners source only 100% organic French products from producers around the French regions. “Staying close to our producers means we know exactly where our products come from. We know how they’re made so we can speak knowledgeably with our customers about our selection,” says Lucio.
Exquisite Preparation and Presentation of Quality Produce
Lucio opened l’Epicerie Générale with his co-founder Maud Zylnik. “We consider ourselves ‘neo-grocers’ because our previous careers were vastly different,” he says. “Maud worked in fashion and I was a civil servant working in City Hall. The deli was born of our personal love of food and the desire to offer our clients a combination of healthy, delicious food, high quality products and a stylishly-designed and welcoming setting.”
They chose the rue de Verneuil for their classically authentic French delicatessen because it offered the perfect Paris clientele. “In addition to its early rich history, rue de Verneuil is legendary since Serge Gainsbourg lived and died here,” Lucio explains. “It’s in a neighborhood where small, well-known commerces de bouche [literally, a business in the “mouth trade”] are still thriving. We felt it suited us on so many fronts.”
The bulk of customers for their staple grocery products are local residents. That means that on weekdays they are busy with regular ‘take-out’ clients from local businesses. But they have seen their wider client base grow as news of them has spread.
“We increasingly appear in French newspapers and on foodie websites so we’re welcoming more people from other neighborhoods, and even from the countryside. They schedule a stop at our shop as part of their visit to Paris,” says Lucio.
Lucio loves the elegant environment of the rue de Verneuil, he says, for its balanced mix of tourists, local residents and weekday work crowd. “We take it as a compliment that we seem to appeal to all three. It’s that mix that gives a real village-like atmosphere to the rue de Verneuil area. It’s one of the magical parts of Paris.”
We at 56Paris are l’Epicerie Générale fans and couldn’t agree more with Lucio, as we also chose this street as the landmark for our brand. Many of our clients choose this part of town too. Interested in buying property in this neighborhood? Contact us for more information.