It’s bloody Julie.
Peering over the counter, almost lost for the cheese and terrines and pate is Julie.
14 years she’s been expressing herself at the French Shop, just at the Therry Street entrance (opposite Le’ McDonalds).
I say “expressing” because her shop is really an extension of her. Its her way of showing what food she loves, to talk about the food she loves, to eat some of the food she loves. She’s been doing it for 14 years, and she confesses that the shop is “all about her”. She loves to cook simple food with simple ingredients, and with such a massive variety of beautiful cheese to pick from she talks up Parmigiano Reggiano like it’s her favorite cheese. Is it her favorite cheese? She wouldn’t tell me.
A bit secretive Julie.
So important to a shop like The French Shop is that it doesn’t just sell produce but a service. To do this Julie has picked staff that have the same standards as she does. They’re patient, casual, and incredibly informative. Sometimes you might wait a little longer to be served, but flash a puppy dog look and you might get a taste of something new from Normandy for your patience.
Julie picked me out quickly for my tastes in cheese and I can imagine it would be similar for a lot of people. I have no idea what I want, but I know what I don’t want. Her and her staff will easily guide me (and you) to a favorite cheese or to something a little different. Cooking a cauliflower and blue soup? She’s got the perfect cheese for you. I don’t need to be an expert in cheese, that’s Julie’s job.
Be warned though. Starting to shop at The French Shop will lure you into their net. You’ll find yourself swinging by just to say “hi”. You’ll decide that a cheese before dinner is a great idea, you’ll want to try one of those terrines. Truffles? Made by Gary Price you’ll say? I’ll try a few. Wild rice? Never tried it, why not. Where do you get that mustard from? France? I should have guessed.