Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Where all Parisians shop


OK, it's not a very glamorous photo, but I realized recently that I never showed you this French institution: Monoprix. Monoprix (which means "one price") is a kind of big convenience stores where you can find everything, including food. The chain started in the 1930's during the crisis ; it was then copied by others such as Uniprix or Prisunic that have all been bought by Monoprix. When I was young, Monoprix was considered too cheap to offer good quality products but in the past 10 years or so, they started upscaling their offer. Now they have a much better image and even opened smaller outlets called Daily Monop' open daily (except on Sundays) until Midnight where the rich urban crowd buys its fresh organic precooked gourmet dinner!

43 comments:

  1. I LOVE Monoprix! This is such a great photo because to me it means CHEAP shopping. Love the makeup area especially. Go Monoprix!!

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  2. Hey, GF Katie! What goes on the crown?
    I think this is a cool photo, Eric. I bought a (very inexpensive) bathing suit at Monoprix many many many years ago—and even though it was cheap it wasn't really: It must have been well-made because it lasted for many many many years. Monoprix rules.

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  3. "fresh organic precooked gourmet dinner"

    There's something very oxy-moronic about that!

    Congrats queen Katie!

    Monoprix is so very cool. Paris is full of special treats, but I love seeing what the French use on a day-to-day basis.

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  4. I still get compliments on the the inexpensive bag I bought there years ago .I just love Monoprix, and always make a pilgrimage there EVERY trip. Great for gifts--baby clothes come with a French flare.

    Although I can find this at Bon Marche, Monoprix was the first place I found liquid cake mix.

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  5. I would agree with that, Eric. A long time ago, Monoprix, Prisunic meant cheapo stuff. Now, I think they've made a lot of progress. I got books, there, some clothes (cotton and linen mix, hard to find, NOT made in China), and of course, food. I always take pictures at the Monoprix food section, because it could easily rival with Whole Foods in the States, and always get in trouble for it, but I keep doing it anyway. One of these days, they will probably "escort me" out!

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  6. Katie, I sent you an email. I don't log into FB much :)

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  7. Love the bright orange neon, nasturtium red, and dusty magenta of the letters.

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  8. Wow the crown is going to be covered in so much Monoprix stuff, there will be something for everyone! I agre with PHX - if you ever run out of time to buy gifts for people when you visit Paris, just go to Monoprix for one-stop shopping. What cracks me up at the Monop' are the individual glasses of wine (in real glass!) with a foil cover, for when you can only afford one glass. Tomate I'll be in touch!

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  9. wonderful recommendation!~
    gorgeous blog...will come 'round often for inspiration--it seems to abound!~

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  10. PHX and her famous liquid cake mix!

    I first got addicted to Monoprix because of Phx. She´s the one who gave me the tip to this great market and I fell in love with it.

    And Sue here is a witness that one of the first things I want to know about the hotel neighborhood I choose is if there is a Monoprix nearby!

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  11. Would this be somehow the reverse of the pleasant time in my long-past youth when I was lip wrestling all the pretty girls just before I got kissing disease, and therefore pre-mono?

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  12. It looks like it's in such a pretty building. But I guess all Paris buildings are pretty, at least in the center of town.

    "fresh organic precooked gourmet dinner" sounds like our Trader Joe's. I never visited Monoprix when I was in Paris. Next time.

    Hi Octavine Illustration, come again!

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  13. love...love monoprix. spent lots of time there when i lived in paris.

    psst..... is it true Petrea that it is your anniversaire? if so, we need to celebrate n'est pas!!!!
    cocktails in pasadena?

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  14. C'est vrai, Maria. I spent the afternoon at the Norton Simon Museum. I think they have more works of Degas than the Musée D'Orsay! A lot of Rodins, too (the same as in Paris - copies of the bronze statues). Maillol as well. Other stuff--many fantastic portraits. Out of the entire collection, though, my favorite has to be the Modigliani.

    Cocktails in Pasadena? I'm worn out!

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  15. Tall Gary,because of you I will NEVER see that sign again in the same way. Now it's an infectious disease....lol!!!

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  16. Those bright red-lipped letters do tend to reach out and say check us out...perhaps like Tall Gman's pre-mono "pretty girls"! :-) Hey mi amigo, slap me silly, but I couldn't resist that one TGM. LOL I just know that your coup de grace to the pre-mono had to be none other than indulging in the Amuse-bouche Grand Prix. Geez there I go again. Suddenly I'm hungry. Ciao all.

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  17. LOVE the Monoprix. When we get there in May we will head right to it. Their children's clothes are an exceptional value. Can't wait to find one in our neighborhood, but if we don't, it's off to the Champs Elysees!
    V

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  18. Hey I must apologize for my alter ego "Stephen"...he needs a good altering fer shure. LOL

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  19. The French Target!

    I <3 Monoprix! I frequented the Boul Mich location in the fall.

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  20. Coltrane: I think Stephen just needs to be slapped silly! LOL.

    What a coincidence: just today I wore a blouse I bought at Monoprix as I wanted a clean blouse to wear on the plane ride home!

    Monica: maybe we should meet at Monoprix. Fifi: are you in?

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  21. LOL From Cali
    I intend on doing many trips to Monoprix while in Paris.


    What about Franprix?? Does anyone recommend?

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  22. When I came to Paris in 2004 this was the saviour for me and my class mate!

    We were on internships, with very little money to spare, and we just had to have the cheapest best thing around. Voila.. thats Monoprix for you!

    This pic brings back so many weekend grocery shopping memories!

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  23. Oooo, TG, I just love it when you say "dusty magenta." Between you and Coltrane, I'm cracking up.

    Eric, this is a great photograph in and of itself. Very dynamic feel captured in that great perspective. But, I love the information on the store and wish I could be there with V and others in May to explore one. Any store that sells wine by the glass with a little piece of foil covering it I've GOT to see for myself. What a concept. Petrea mentioned Trader Joes here in the States, and they sell bottles of "Two Buck Chuck" in California (real name is Charles Shaw wines, an inexpensive selection of table wines, but it's three bucks a bottle here in Washington). I don't imagine Monoprix would be so inexpensive as to sell a French wine for even three bucks a glass, would it?
    I wonder if you have found anything like Monoprix while exploring Adelaide. Can't wait to hear some of your travel tales.
    -Kim
    Seattle Daily Photo

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  24. Katie, brilliant GF. Make sure the crown isn't too heavy with all this Monop' stuff ;-)

    Monica, you can only find food in Franprix. It's pretty cheap (cheaper than Monop'), but basic quality only.

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  25. Yes Monica you did indeed want to know the location of the nearest Monoprix to 'our' hotel, which incidentally I will be making a flying visit to next Tuesday(one night only) wooooooooohooooo!!!
    Those little glasses of wine with the foil lids are so handy for taking back to the hotel room, and the wine's good too.

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  26. Sounds fabulous, but is their clothing 'one prize fits all'?

    {Coltrane, that Stephen guy is almost as funny as you are and that's saying something...}

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  27. Coltrane -- I totally knew that was you!

    TG -- your pre-mono reminds me that I've seen two restaurants lately that have a "pre-fix" menu (to be consumed before you enjoy your drug of choice, perhaps).

    Petrea -- sorry I missed your birthday, but belated best wishes. (Sounds like it was a good one.)

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  28. Thib, thanks for the info!

    Sue how great you're going there. Make sure to say hi to "madame" for me!

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  29. I'm glad you revisited the Norton Simon museum, Petrea. And, yes, j'aime le Modigliani. Van Gogh's olive tree is magnificant, and I love all of Pissarro's Pointillism paintings. Fascinating.

    Eric: is this the Monoprix at rue Reamur and blvd Sebastopol? There is a painting of that corner building in Museé Carnavalet. It was really fun to see it because I've bought so much food at the Monoprix.

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  30. If you buy The Paris Mapguide, third addition, it shows ,in red, all the Monoprix locations in situ.

    I bought my map at B. Smith on rue Rivoli, and don't make a move without it in Paris as it is so easy to read, and has all streets.

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  31. J'adore Monoprix!!! I go there almost every day I'm in Paris. Water, fresh fruit, toiletries - you name it!

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  32. I agree that Monoprix has changed greatly over the years. The one in Montmartre was still pretty creepy the last time I was there; perhaps they have given it a facelift by now since that was over three years ago.

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  33. Monica - I sure will say hi to 'madame' for you!!

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  34. There's a good reason for not showing Monoprix. It's a rip-off store. Il y en a trop d'arnaques partout et toujour.

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  35. "where the rich urban crowd buys its fresh organic precooked gourmet dinner"... Everything is said Eric!
    Monopris became a "bobo" shop, for sure.

    I can't buy my day-to-day food there, it would ruin me! But i've to admit that it's really practical if you're looking for something special, like refined food or wine, or nice clothes. I also admit that Monoprix is quite addictive, that's why I stay far from it! LOL
    I used to live near a Daily Monop: a trap!

    Katie congrats on GF! Some liquid cake to add on the crown? ;)

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  36. This is quite educational. I shopped at several small shops on rue Reamur last year. Charcuterie, fromagerie, fruit and vegatables shop, as well as Monoprix. I didn't notice a difference in price. A rotisserie chicken at a charcuterie was 12 euros (about $16). Wow. Ouch. I get them here at home for $8. To be able to buy so many things at one place is of course quite common for us in U.S. The time saving is worth some extra money.

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  37. Monoprix - that's the store where I bought my first bikini underwear and a mini-dress in 1969. I was a student in Aix-en=Provence. ;-)

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  38. This sounds like a great place to put on my list of "places I must visit in Paris". I love shopping! Especially grocery shopping when I can afford really good stuff!

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  39. Just found your blog and I love it! I bought a beautiful yellow scarf at Monoprix, in Metz I believe. It was over ten years ago, but I still have it and remember the time I wandered into my first Monoprix.

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  40. Ana, from Naples, Italy (I am peruvian!) we are going to Paris from the 1st to 8 of November I will love to go to Monoprix, please give me some direcctions! My email address anadry@gmail.com
    Eric you take great pictures, I love your Paris!
    Thanks xoxo

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