Once a country girl, always a country girl. Or at least it turned out that way for Zoé Kovacs, one of the owners of L’Epicerie Végétale, a new flower and produce market and cold-press juice bar in the 11th arrondissement.
Having made a name for herself as a fashion photographer with clients like Sephora, Zoé and her business partner Guillaume Servet reached a point where life in the fashion fast lane was no longer what they wanted. After spending nearly a year working for a small organic produce store and learning the ins and outs of working directly with independent producers, Zoé and Guillaume opened L’Epicerie Végétale at the end of September. The vision? To make everything as local and seasonal as possible.
The small store, which Zoé and Guillaume designed, is full of color. Crates of leafy greens, brilliant orange squash, and autumnal fruits like figs, apples, and pears are highlights, but the store does not lack in staples like onions, leeks, and fresh rosettes of lettuce. They work closely with around 25 producers of the Groupement des Agriculteurs Biologiques, a cooperative with the objective to grow and encourage local, organic farming.
“I was raised in Chartres,” Zoé said in explaining why she felt the need for a career change. “I grew up with books, flowers, and bikes!” It was only a matter of time before she returned to her roots, and flowers are actually a key component of the store. Bouquets can be made to order with flowers that are native to the region and season, like wild mint, which is flowering at this time of year. Along with produce and flowers, cold-press juices are made on-site and can be enjoyed there or taken away.
While the space is small, it easily attracts passersby with the beautiful foliage exterior. Green plants, pots of flowers, and crates of fruits and brightly colored cauliflower lure you in to explore more of the local and seasonal delights.
L’Epicerie Végétale- 51 rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 75011. Tel: +33 (0)6 73 35 62 11. Métro: Goncourt (line 11) or Parmentier (line 3).
- Love seasonal, local shops? Check out our review of La Récolte, in the same genre but a different feel and selection.
- If you want to learn more about how to eat and cook locally and sustainably in Paris, discover Emily Dilling’s My Paris Market Cookbook.
- David Lebovitz also explored local produce shopping in Paris with this guest post from Phyllis Flick, with some other sustainable bonnes adresses.