Thursday, July 23, 2009

Boulangerie Parisienne

Unfortunately, this bakery shut its doors for good a couple of years ago and no one has come in to re-open it. This is the second bakery to close recently in St.-Aignan. Fortunately, there are three others that seem to be doing fine. Not to mention the two in our little town next door, and the several across the river.

The now defunct Parisian Bakery.

Still, it's hard to watch businesses fold. Two charcuteries in St.-Aignan also closed recently, leaving the town with just one, and that one is inside a small superette. But it's run by a local guy and he does good stuff. There's a great charcuterie across the river in Noyers. And, of course, there are a few at the Saturday market, too. Otherwise, the big supermarkets are taking the business.

There was also a small bookstore in St.-Aignan until it, too, closed. The woman who ran it was struck and killed by a car a couple years ago and the store had to close. It's never re-opened.

St.-Aignan does have two very good butchers, and there are frequently lines out the door at both shops, so we hope they'll stay around.


  1. Perhaps the number of commerces is gradually being pared down to the few that can survive as people spend more of their money in the supermarkets. Perhaps the type of person that shops there every day is also in decline. It's such a shame as these shops add so much to the character of a town. Same in England. People want to see their pretty village shops but they love their one-stop supermarkets more and that's where they shop. Sad but true.

  2. Very sad that independent stores or all types are overcome by the larger chains. Along with foodstuffs, it's So hard to find a good, specialist record store these days....

  3. I love your town series! Its fun to see the village scenery!

  4. I'm loving the tour of St Aignan, Walt!

    Eagerly awaiting more.


  5. I agree with Jean... the little shops add so much character (not to mention pride of quality when there is competition). Here in the U.S., independent bakeries and butcher shops, and even delis, are all but unheard of anymore... everything is in the big grocery stores.

    Loving the St. Aignan series :)


  6. Soon, France will be just like the US, mom and pop stores will be something one reads about in History or nostalgia books.

  7. Walt,
    It seems that a lot of people just don't take time to cook so off to the supermarket to but prepared meals.
    My 21 year old son opened the fridge door to exclaim, "there's no food in here, just ingredients".

  8. there isn't anything nasty like Walmart doing this?

  9. jean, I think it's simple economics. It's too bad, but the big stores can undersell. Fortunately, so far, in France, there are supermarkets with quality products and not just the industrial produced and prepared things.

    evol, unless one lives in a large metro area and is willing to go into certain parts of town to find things, all you get is what sells the most. Ugh!

    rachael, thanks!

    bettyann, good! I'm encouraged to do more.

    judy, we try to go to local shops as much as we can, but we do a lot of our shopping in the supermarkets. I mean, when you need laundry detergent and toilet paper, where you gonna go? Er, that didn't come out right...

    starman, sad, but probably true. At least we're not there yet.

    leon, lol!

    urspo, there are big hypermarkets, as they're called here, yes. They've been in France as long as Wal-mart's been in the US.

  10. I blame this evolution away from little shops in towns and toward big "distribution centers" on the edges of towns on oil and the internal combustion engine. Until 100 years ago, people had to walk to the shops. Now they drive to shopping centers. We all do it.

  11. In Australia, two supermarket chains are taking over all aspects of food retailing.

    Independent butchers, bakeries and the like are being squeezed out and the Government sits back and does very little to protect small business.


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