An « Epicerie » in French is an entire concept. For some time now it has technically been the mini mart down on the corner where you can grab some milk that you forgot at the market and don’t have time to go farther. But historically, an Epicerie has been more than that.
If translated literally an « épicerie » could be called a spice shop. And that exactly what they started out as in the Middle Ages.
But they quickly branched out to be what we would call in English a « general store » where bulk goods are served to you by the merchant. This was before pre-packaged food and the concept of self service.
The new moderne Épicerie stores combine all of these concepts and are what we call in French an « Épicerie Fine » (pronounced feen). We are even now seeing shops that are selling in bulk or « en vrac » in French, out of a trend of consciousness for the environment and in an effort to reduce plastic packaging waste.
The charming locale that is the origin of this post, in the heart of the Batignolles neighborhood is one such « Spice Shop » that in addition to offering an artisanal selection of goods from France, Portugal, Italy and beyond they also have a nicely stocked deli for hams and cheeses and can cater to your needs for a soirée or event at home or work.
Or you can browse their well stocked shelves until you find something that wets your appetite for an apéritif.
They have been on rue Boursault since 2015, and are a small team of passionate gourmets. Their goal is to offer their clients a place to find high quality goods that are selected with care. They can serve you whatever your heart or belly desires from their cheese and sandwich case, or their sausage and fresh food selection. Or you can choose for yourself from the pre-packaged canned and dry goods stocked from wall to wall.
This is truly a moderne general store, where you can not only grab some milk if you forget it during your market shopping, but you can also find something exotic from far far away, or be served by a gourmet merchant an expertly chosen specialty item.
Les Épiciers Modernes
32 rue Boursault 75017 Paris
Open Mon-Sat 9:30am to 10pm