Le Marché St. George
"We are a neighbourhood grocery store specializing in local artisanal products and selected treasures from around the world."
Le Marché St. George sets the bar on so many different levels, but you just have to admire the simple fact that it exists on the corner of a small residential street in the Riley Park neighbourhood of Vancouver. Stocking their favourite dry and canned goods, cheeses, cured meats and other staples; they also showcase a unique selection of handmade wares from artists.
WE Vancouver's profile of the store included an anecdote about the attention to detail to the design from co-owner Janaki Larsen who previously worked as a set decorator in the television/film industry:
"The sisters love working together and are responsible for the hand-weathered ornate wallpaper that looks like it’s from a turn-of-the-century ballroom that’s seen better days.
“It took us days,” Larsen admits. “We applied the wallpaper then painted over it, scraped it, rubbed in coffee grounds and just kept it going ‘til it looked right.” The result is a dark and dreamy, rustic finish that is perfect for pondering over an exceptionally good latté."
The shop uses beans from Elysian Coffee prepared on their Synesso espresso machine. You can also soon find French press service at Le Marché St. George with coffee from a selection of boutique roasters. And their London Fogs and teas are from Harney & Sons Fine Teas.
Le Marché also regularly hosts dinners and pop-up stores in their space. So check their Twitter or subscribe to the newsletter on their website to receive the latest news.
- The most recent owners of the building considered opening a cafe in the space but quickly abandoned that plan when they found that city bylaws forbid it. Le Marche also found out about the restrictions after purchasing the space, but were able to find a way to open in compliance since the space was grandfathered as a grocery store.
- The french presses at Le Marché are from FREUD which is a British design shop producing collections of table and glassware products along with running two cafe-bars in London and Oxford.
- The building was built around 1904 (from an old MLS listing for the property) though the Vancouver Heritage Foundation dates it circa 1914. From the 2012 VHF Heritage House Tour guide (PDF):
"The first City Directory listing for the address is Millman and Moody Grocers in 1914, followed in 1915 by John Miller, Grocer until 1922. Beginning in 1938 it was the St .George Grocery under various owners until the mid-90s. "
- The shop has their own bee hives, backyard garden and they also raise a few chickens. The honey from the hives is collected by Mellifera Bees and then stocked on their shelves.
- Opened November 27, 2010.
- Not sure of the exact origins of the display case in the store, but The Royal Garden Teas name has a long history. Since incorporating in 1892, The J.M. Bour Company produced both coffee and teas from Toledo, Ohio. You can find a message inscribed on the back door. In the early 1900s, Toledo was a major spice and coffee roasting producer. In 1912, Toledo's Woolson Spice Company had the world's largest coffee factory in the world with 500 workers and the capacity to roast one million pounds of coffee a week.
Le Marché St. George | marchestgeorge.com | 4393 St. George Street, Vancouver V5V 2K6 | 604-565-5107
Everyday 8AM - 7PM
Social, Links, Interviews
A&H Magazine: Interview with Le Marché St. George
"Also, whenever we travel in Europe, I am always awe struck by how beautiful everything is. Even the most mundane daily experiences, like grocery shopping or going to the post office is a beautiful experience. We wanted to open something that brought back that “experience” of beauty, leisure, and enjoyment ."
Word of Mouth: Le Marche St George
"Every now and again you arrive at a place where you might imagine that magic happens, or you feel like you are as close as you might ever be to living in a children’s book. For me Le Marche St George is such a place ..."
"There, the quaint silhouette of an old-time general store and café makes passersby do a double take. Le Marche St. George, housed in a two-storey building, with century-old half-painted shingles, wood windows and awnings, has inadvertently become the heart of this East Vancouver community."
CBC Radio: Vancouver's Vanishing Corner Grocery Stores
Part & Parcel: Le Marché St. George
"Pulling up to the Le Marche one Thursday morning we couldn’t help but enjoy the quiet allure of the location; a few people are seen jogging lightly with a friend or walking their dog, taking the opportunity to enjoy the bloom of the late morning light as it melts through the light fog."
Monocle Magazine has a video feature from their July 2011 article on "four independent coffee shops that each reflect the unique nature of their neighbourhoods." (If you want to skip ahead, Le Marché's segment begins at the five minute mark).
Jonathan Morris produced a stop-motion video capturing people visiting Le Marché for Heritage House Tour 2012 event held by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation: