Chez Monoprix is where the Tough Get Going when the Going Gets Tough.
On a gloomy March morning, as France seemed to have come to a standstill and was holding its breath expecting more bad news later in the day, I was not surprised to see several neighbors of mine at our local Monoprix store. They were waiting patiently, holding their spot in long lines to be able to go home with more food, more toilet paper, more wine, in case the anticipated quarantine was not just a rumor. There weren’t hoarders, just people trying to plan ahead, to reassure themselves, as everything seemed to crumble around them all over France and the rest of the world, personal lives, jobs, businesses, vacation plans… In fact, even if some shelves were almost empty (the Holy Trinity rice, pasta, beans, missing) many still offered plenty of supplies. It was almost a normal day in my peaceful corner of the Parisian woods.
When the fun has left the building
It’s easy to smile chez Monoprix: Attractive, colorful products with a reasonable price tag welcome locals and visitors. It’s easy to spend there. Icing on the cake: Monoprix’s attempts to entertain customers with their creative packaging.
I chuckled when I spotted an endangered slice of Brie, and thought to myself: “You look the way we are all starting to feel!”
Still, nobody – myself included – felt like smiling today. I stayed clear of the other customers and headed out of the store as fast as I could, my supplies piled inside the faithful lime green Rolser shopping cart. There’s no more time to show a cavalier attitude towards “social distancing,” the trending concept du jour. Tick-tock, the invisible enemy that’s taken our bruised and battered planet by storm is on our doorstep. In France, we’ve already lost our beloved cafés and terrasses because of it, and it’s only the beginning.
Chez Monoprix: Where the Tough persevere
I promised French Girl in Seattle Takes France! readers I would continue to share musings and snippets of my Parisian life through all this, and so I will, on Facebook or on the blog. Here’s a video I filmed for you earlier today. If you love shopping in France – especially chez Monoprix – you will enjoy it. Warning: Unlike the quarantine we are about to enter, it’s fast-paced. A low-battery signal came on 20 seconds into the video, and I was afraid to get cut off. God knows it was hard enough to talk to you through my chichi surgical mask…
Chez Monoprix: A French Girl in Seattle Takes France! video
This story is part of the “France as I see it” series. There are two other stories about Monoprix on the French Girl in Seattle blog, referenced on the homepage under “Les Plus Populaires.”
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Merci pour ça! J’adore tous les choses à manger!
I live in Northern California! Looking forward to your postings the next month et plus!!
Bonjour Rosemary! If you are new here, don’t hesitate to join my community on FB. I share updates there every day! A bientôt.
Stocking the pantry, en France. Gave me a few ideas to include in my next shopping excursion. Be safe. Take care. And smile.
Bonjour Tomi. Thank you for stopping by. I take care, and I smile. Be safe out there!
Hope you stay in good health and in good spirit, Véro. Your little shopping spree at the Monop was quite successful! I was envious of everything but the biscottes, because I’ve never liked them. Reblochon remains one if my very favorite cheeses!
Bonjour Elizabeth. Thank you for the support, as always. Hope you are both safe and happy at home. Telecommuting can be a godsend! 😉
Loved the video…it cheered me up. I guess we are all in this together…We need to buy a few more groceries, but plan to go at 6am when the stores are less crowded and hopefully the shelves have been restocked. Plz keep posting Vero ❤️Janey
I went at 6 am in NY and shelves had not been re-stocked and neither the meat nor fish departments were open yet. I do not know if the shelves were not re-stocked due to shortages or the early hour and/or deliveries had not arrived. I hope you have better luck.
Bonjour Barbara. I hope all those shelves have been restocked by now. Stay safe out there!
Bonjour Janey. So happy you enjoyed the video. I will do my best to keep posting. A bientôt.
Your voice noticeably brightened a bit as you described your purchases. I was happy to see/hear that!
In California I am also being strongly advised to stay at home but I did go out to the market early this morning to purchase what I needed to complement what I had already had so that I could remain cloistered (not quarantined!) for at least the next week. I had to cancel my April trip to Paris and then Italy. This is disappointing, of course, but small change compared to the suffering of others. Please take care and keep up the reports. They help all of us feel closer to our beloved Paris.
Bonjour SharYn. My voice always brightens when I discuss food. I am French after all 😉 Sorry you had to cancel your trip to Europe. We will be here when you return, and until then, you can visit the French Girl in Seattle community on FB and see Paris through my eyes! A bientôt.
I so enjoy your reporting from Paris and so happy you have not lost your sense of humor. These are very unsettling times. Meanwhile, we have been on the island of Kauai since March 5 and leave this Thursday, March 19. There are 2 reported cases on the island and 7 in the state of Hawaii. As of yet, there are no restrictions or closures, it is life as usual. We are thankful to be here and know we will face a new normal when we return home. Take care. I will see you on FB.
Bonjour Cherie! I hope the islands are doing ok. They are not as well equipped as the mainland to fight off this type of virus. Enjoy the rest of your week in the sun. Let’s hope you get more in Seattle. Hugs to you, Steve and Coco/Vero when you see her.
Loved your video, even seeing the products we don’t get here in New Zealand is really interesting. Thank you Veronique. We only have 8 confirmed cases here but restrictions are all going in place ( abd the shop shelves are emptying . Take care and look after yourself
Bonjour Sherry. Fingers crossed for New Zealand. I have a Rick Steves tour guide friend who just wrapped up a tour there this week.
Thank you so much for posting this wonderful video. It definitely makes me want to be there. I Love Monprix. I discovered it by accident when I was there. I wish I could go there now.
I am in NY and the social distancing is hard. My friend’s birthday is tomorrow, St. Patrick’s Day and she has asked me to go over to her house, but I must first spray myself with disinfectant. I convinced that alcohol would work. She is being allowed to work from home. I must still go in Tues. – Thurs.; so much for social distancing.
Thank you for your lovely and informative report today. Your shopping trip to Monoprix brought back fond memories of this treasure hunting store that was a short walk from The Place des Vosges. I always looked forward to shopping there for groceries and any item that was an enjoyment to have in my “Paris life.”
Bonjour Diane. I am not sure I remember that store. What was it called? Do you remember the location?
Merci Vero! I enjoyed your video, and learning about what “the locals” like to eat . Florida is not quite as serious as of yet, though I’m expecting that to change soon. I look forward to hearing from you, and looking out your little window in Paris! Rester en bonne santé et en sécurité! Abiento! Love, Danyel
Bonjour Danyel. Thank you for the lovely message. Stay safe in Florida. I heard many people were having a hard time adjusting to the “new Spring Break” and flocked to beaches en masse this week. Not a good idea…
Loved this video! It is so wonderful to get a taste of your life in Paris. You are certainly staying positive about your circumstances!! Will be thinking of you in your little 7th Heaven and sending good wishes!
Bonjour Paula. Thank you for the good wishes. Just got them in the mail today 🙂
Thank you Vera, I appreciate the time and effort you are using to keep us up to date. Thank you. Please take care.
Bonjour Philomena. My name is Vero(nique) 😉 I am glad you enjoy my updates. Do you follow them on Facebook as well? A bientôt!
Hi Véro – We are in lockdown too – SF Bay Area. So far, for the same amount of time. Monoprix for you – Trader Joe’s for me. Bonne Chance. Canceled my tix to France for May.
Bonjour Sharon. Sorry you had to cancel your trip in May. Join me on Facebook as I share daily updates on Paris. This might help… Trader Joe’s is always a good idea 🙂
We left Paris yesterday on possibly one of the last planes leaving for the States. Our original flight for later this week was cancelled and fell blessed to have gotten on a flight. Last week was different from our previous trips – no museums, cooked our meals in our air bnb – but we still enjoyed the markets and walking. Sunday was unsettling as we walked on empty streets. We are home now and quarantined but keeping all those in France — especially the elderly – in our thoughts and prayers.
Bonjour Mary. I am glad you made it home ok. Yes, things have been interesting around Paris lately. Hopefully, we will be able to resume our routines soon, the good ones at least. Take care!
Bonjour! I made my first trip to Paris last fall and since we were on a tight budget, we ate mostly food bought at Monoprix and cooked in our flat. Our flat only had a kettle so for coffee I bought a box of Monoprix cafe soluble sachets. Ordinarily, I detest instant coffee but the Monoprix brand was ok, or maybe it was just because I was drinking it in Paris? I brought home a box and sipped it little by little, saving the last sachet for a day when I was really missing Paris. Well, that day arrived and lo! I discovered my son had used it up.
Today is a rough day. I could really use being transported back to Paris for a few minutes. Can you direct me to an online source that might be able to ship some to the States? I can’t seem to find one. My search brought me to your site. Thank you for your lovely writing and for being just the distraction I need today to manage my tres gros chagrins.
Bonjour, Monoprix coffee fan. I am sorry to hear you are feeling down today and your son used up all of your favorite coffee. Children can be ruthless! I would love nothing more than to help you with the information you requested. Sadly, as far as I know, Monoprix products are only shipped by Monoprix. With the current lockdown, their delivery service has been swamped. They collaborate with Amazon here in France, and I am not even sure they are still able to meet the demand. I am really sorry. I hope you feel better soon, and that whatever is bringing you down goes away very soon, like the smoke coming out of your mug as you sipped that delicious instant coffee in Paris. Big hugs to you. Veronique
Bonjour from California! I love Monoprix- thank you for sharing your lovely video. ?
Avec plaisir Darlene.