Have you heard about SoPi? It’s a neighborhood that’s been becoming more bohemian-chic as the years go on… Am I talking about a New York borough? A London neighborhood? No, folks: this is SoPi, South Pigalle, Paris. And if you need a good cup of coffee and a unique souvenir, take a walk with me…
Now, in your mind you may already have an idea (possibly not too pleasant) of what Pigalle is like. And that idea may not make you want to hang out in the neighborhood, especially if you’re visiting Paris for only the first or second time. But let me tell you that Paris’s Pigalle “red light district” is a 4-block stretch of one boulevard. As soon as you get out of there, you’re going to be delighted. I promise.
The Pigalle neighborhood the go-to area for musicians to shop due to the super-high concentration of music and supply stores… But not only that: if you want quality coffee, delicious food, and some truly unique shopping, this is where you want to be.
If you’re like me, you like combining a few of the above: Coffee and shopping, for example. Enter: Le Rocketship boutique and café!
I didn’t know much about Le Rocketship besides the fact that it had coffee, and that coffee came from Coutume, who I know provide some of the only truly quality coffee in Paris. That alone was enough for me to swing by.
Well, I should have read a bit more on Le Rocketship, because I ended up walking right past it. Twice. I was expecting a pure-bred café, you see. But Le Rocketship is so much more.
Walk into the boutique and – no matter how much you want/need a cappuccino – you will not make it to the counter right away. You will be distracted by the lovely displays of lovely things, just as I was, and just as my friend was when she joined me.
From adorable notebooks to artisan-created lighting to one of a kind furniture, Le Rocketship really has something for any living space. I fell in love with about 84% of the items in the shop, instantly. The other 16% I loved by the time I left.
Le Rocketship owner Benoit explained that every single item in the store is an item he either has in his own home, or one that would fit in very well there. He isn’t trying to have a ‘concept shop…’ at least not any more than his own concept of “Hey, I like this, I think I’ll contact the creator and see what we can work out about selling it.”
The selection, as you can see, is quite interesting. Everyone is bound to find something they want to go home with! In addition, nothing in the shop is mass-produced (as much as I love IKEA… sometimes it’s unsettling to go to a friend’s apartment and see your own place, simply rearranged). The artisans come from all over the world, from New York (the beautiful lamps) to, surprise surprise, Benoit’s own home! Well, almost… the beautiful posters on the wall are made by his brother.
When asked about the hipster-ish draw of his store, he just laughed. He’s not prescribing to a hipster lifestyle… he just happens to be living in one, I guess. “Tant mieux,” he says, if that’s what people like!
Benoit spoke to us about the small coffee counter in the boutique… A (certified!) barista/merchant is really not something you see every day, so we asked about it. He said that the café was the most important part of the shop, to him. It allows conversations to be born, since clients don’t feel that buy-or-get-out ambiance most shops have.
I even spotted some cute Paris-themed objects, perfect for souvenirs. Though, anything here would be an exceptionally unique souvenir for a dear friend or family member. Or, for yourself.
The selection is eclectic and changes often… that – plus the coffee, chai latte, and the good company – will give you some amazing reasons to keep coming back!
13 bis rue Henry Monnier 75009
Open: Tuesday-Saturday 11am- 7:30pm