Delphine Plisson paced in and out of her new namesake shop, smile beaming, shaking hands with the morning’s first customers while her staff awaited the throngs of curious locals who would descend mid-morning. Plisson had reason to be happy—Maison Plisson, her ambitious culinary emporium that does double duty as a covered market and restaurant, was fast becoming the darling of the Paris food media and was finally opening its doors to the public in the north Marais after two years of work.
Inspired by New York's Dean & Deluca, the Parisian lamented the absence of such a space in Paris when she lived in the Big Apple as a student. She, too, wanted to open a quality food hall, but the concept would germinate for nearly twenty years before she made it a reality. First, she needed to let go of her successful fashion career at prêt-à-porter label Claudie Pierlot, where she was most recently the General Manager.
When she was ready, she visited food halls and markets around the world and spent an entire year traversing the country, meeting with French farmers solidifying her own concept. The result lands somewhere between a supermarket and a gourmet grocer, where she hopes customers will shop daily.
Unlike La Grande Epicerie at the Bon Marché or Galeries Lafayette Gourmet, Plisson focused her selection exclusively on artisanal items that reduce waste, eschewing mass-market food products (and indulging the growing expectation for transparent sourcing) for some 3,000 sweet and savory items, 80 percent of which are French. You won’t find Nutella in the mix, but you will have your pick from several natural hazelnut spreads.
The market brings together some leading food artisans all in one place. Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) butcher Didier Massot, cheesemonger Ludovic Galfione and Alexia Charraire of the Comptoir des Producteurs join a robust section of locally grown fresh produce. On the café side, bread and pastries are the handiwork of chef Benoit Castel, owner of the bakery Liberté, while specialty coffee roaster L’Abre à Café elevates the Maison’s coffee program.
Though the sheer scale of the project was daunting, Plisson wasn't in it alone: chef Bruno Doucet of La Régalade signed on to develop the restaurant menu and bistronomy papa Yves Camdeborde served as a hands-on mentor. Both believed in the project and in Plisson’s vision. “I really want this to become a favorite food stop for locals,” she says. “We’ve got high-quality products, a cool vibe—keys to making food shopping a real pleasure.”