If Paris is a perennial draw for Americans, it should come as little surprise to know that the French are head over heels for New York City, the capital of opportunity and a place where hard work actually pays off in spades. Among the many success stories of French-operated businesses, small and large, Maman ranks rather high. Opened by Michelin-starred chef Armand Arnal (head chef at the Michelin-starred restaurant La Chassagnette in Arles), Benjamin Sormonte (entrepreneur/restaurateur) and Elisa Marshall (baker, designer, event planner) in Soho in October 2014, the bakery-canteen is very much a relaxed, country-chic gathering place reminiscent of Arnal’s childhood environs in the south of France that quickly gained popularity. Less than a year later, they opened a location in Toronto, followed by several other locations in NY — Tribeca, Meatpacking, and Greenpoint. They do simple, beautiful food and baked goods, serve good coffee and an environment you can’t help but return to (especially if a trip to France isn’t scheduled anytime soon).
As of the end of last month, they’ve taken the concept of the artisanal French lifestyle a step further to launch Marché Maman, a marketplace with quality French brands and artisanal snacks for sale — beauty & lifestyle products from Bastide, Franco-Indian home accessories and textiles by Jamini (founder Usha Bora is profiled in my book ‘The New Paris’! This is her first point of sale in the United States) flowers from Flower Girl, kid’s clothing and accessories from French designer Merci Bisous, ice cream from MilkMade (with flavors exclusive to Maman like coffee-crème brûlée and lavender chocolate), and Maman’s own vintage pieces and tableware, including blue plates and antique furniture.
The shop will also play host to events, workshops, tastings, and other activities. Go to shop or try the foods that have made Maman an instant favorite. To hold you over until you can get to NYC, here is a preview:
237 Centre Street
NY, New York 10013