When he opened his first spot, Bob’s Juice Bar, in 2006, Marc Grossman says he was driven by a simple desire to bring a little of New York to Paris. “It was something from back home, something I missed, health food, juice bars,” says Grossman. The born-and-bred New Yorker, who at one time worked on Wall Street, decided to move to Paris 15 years ago. He married a French girl and never left.
Since opening his first café, he has almost single-handedly changed Parisian’s dining habits for the better, introducing them to things like green juice and rice bowls he calls “Veggie Stew.” However, he says his goal was never to push a health food agenda, but rather serve organic, wholesome, tasty food. “We’re not extreme,” says Grossman. “We have muffins, but we also have salads. We try to mix it up.”
His mini food empire has expanded over the years to include Bob’s Kitchen, Bob’s Cold Press, and now Bob’s Bake Shop, arguably his most New York spot of all. The bakery and café is located in Halle Pajol, a mixed-use development in a former SNCF warehouse in the 18th arrondissement. The 50s-style diner interior was inspired by famed Katz’s Deli in New York and, in a nod to the building’s original purpose, the booths are copies of old SNCF train benches.
The Bake Shop’s specialty is Grossman’s made-from-scratch New York-style bagels in flavors like sesame, poppy seed, pumpernickel, and cinnamon raisin. Bagel sandwiches come topped with all manner of delicious ingredients, like fluffy cream cheese, organic Scottish salmon, avocado, and sprouts.
Grossman says while his restaurants have always been havens for expats looking for a piece of home, Parisians too have embraced his brand of nutritious eating. “There’s a resistance to cinnamon, so I cut it down, but they love everything else,” says Grossman.
Also, in the pastry cases at Bob’s Bake Shop you’ll find mouthwatering American desserts like brownies, pecan pie, and fruit cobbler. Grossman is the first to admit he’s had no formal culinary training, but he loves perfecting recipes and has penned several French cookbooks including Mr. American Pie and Un Goûter à New York. Incidentally, Grossman’s older brother is American fashion designer and boutique owner Steven Alan. “You could say we’re an entrepreneurial family,” says Grossman. We’d say that’s putting it lightly.
So the next time you get a craving for a taste of the Big Apple, or just a break from typical French fare, hopefully there’s a Bob’s near you.
Bob’s Bake Shop – Halle Pajol 12 Esplanade Nathalie Sarraute, 75018 Paris. Tel. +33 (0)9 84 46 25 26
Bob’s Kitchen – 74 Rue Des Gravilliers, 75003 Paris. Tel. +33 09 52 55 11 66
Bob’s Juice Bar – 15 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris. Tel. +33 09 50 06 36 18
Bob’s Cold Press (visits by appointment) – 10 Passage Rochebrune, 75011 Paris. Tel. +33 09 52 00 60 40
Written by Casey Hatfield-Chiotti for the HiP Paris Blog. All images by Rebecca Genet. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.