The latest buzz on the Paris coffee scene this summer is Folks and Sparrows, a café-épicerie-concept store tucked away on a quiet street in the 11ème, one of my favorite neighborhoods.
I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours here on a drizzly Tuesday afternoon last week. I relaxed into a leather easy chair in the corner, admired the sunflower and lavender arrangements around me, and enjoyed a perfectly satisfying cappuccino – smooth, creamy, and served in a hefty mug for two hands. Folk music played in the background and I felt immediately transported to another place, a cabin in the rural woods of New England perhaps.
This is Franck’s vision. The Paris-born owner, who spent 10 years living in Brooklyn, worked his way up from waiting tables to managing a restaurant. He described to me the strong connection he still feels to his second home in the US, where many of his close friends live. “The US was really nice to me, “ Franck recalled, seemingly longing for his hikes in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate NY.
Folks and Sparrows is a miniature international épicerie of sorts. In addition to the exceptional coffee and fresh baguette sandwiches wrapped carefully with a pretty garnish, you can stock up on jarred pickles imported from Brooklyn, BBQ sauce from Kansas City, sardines from Lisbon, cookie mix from Brussels—an eclectic selection composed of the very best products Franck could source.
With its rustic yet minimalist interior, the cafe is truly a reflection of the taste and personality of its owner. “It’s like my home, “ Franck told me. The gorgeous crossed wooden shelving, counters, and backdoor were handcrafted by a carpenter friend of his, one of a close-knit group of friends who came together to help Franck design and construct Folks and Sparrows.
This new spot is a gem, a humble oasis from the bustling, elbow-to-elbow street cafes of the city, and sure to become a ritual for neighborhood locals and visitors alike.
Folks and Sparrows is currently en vacances, but be sure to check them out when they re-open on the 20th!
Folks and Sparrows, 14 rue Saint-Sébastien, 75011 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)9
- More on the exciting coffee revolution in Paris from the HiP Paris Blog
- David Lebovitz’ complete list of where to find a good cup of coffee in Paris
- Emily Dilling reviews another concept store/café, Sept Cinq, for HiP Paris