After the biocoop in 2013, a restaurant in 2014, the Welcome Bio group has expanded most recently with a shop on rue Boulle. It’s an immense concept store designed in the style of an apartment with its own living room, bathroom and kitchen. They hope to be ‘an open and welcoming place, inviting you to discover and put into practice alternative initiatives, and bold projects for economic, cultural, social and environmental transition.’
Certain objects are made in France, while others are recycled and fair trade, but all are selected with care by the Welcome Bio team, who have a fair amount of experience under their belts. As well as eco-friendly cosmetics and washing powder, they sell a host of items to make any Parisian hipster go weak at the knees. From top-notch French stationery (La Petite Papeterie Française, Papier Tigre), a haberdashery corner for embroidery, sewing and knitting, a pharmacy-like space which puts ethical products in the spotlight and a small basement space for children’s games. But the cherry on top has to be the little corner dedicated to plants.
A proper shop within a shop, Mama Petula sells delicate flowering plants, a bevy of mini-succulents and several monster pots – essentially everything you’d need to get green-fingered. Having browsed Etsy creations and €1 recycled Indian glasses, we recommend taking a break for a matcha latte or a glass of kefir with a beautiful slice of violet-carrot cake in the mini-café at the back of the shop. The menu includes both savoury and sweet, but don’t miss the organic, fairtrade Esperanza coffee – harvested in Peru, roasted delicately to preserve the aromas and sold exclusively in the shop (€2.50 for an expresso). Just the sort of place to while away the hours with a book.
TRANSLATION: MEGAN CARNEGIE