I recently sat down with Matthias, owner and creator of Echo Deli in the 2nd arrondissement to learn a little bit more about the Savoir Vivre of this Good Vibes rated café.
How did a French man come to own a LA restaurant in Paris?
Well, for starters I studied in LA at UCLA 10 years ago. I totally fell in love with the city. Since then, I have gone back at least once a year! The food scene over there is always changing and I was very impressed by what was happening over there. Each and every time I came back to Paris after my trips in LA I was like ahhh I miss that kind of food! It all came together when I went to Gjusta 2 years ago… I was so incredibly blown away by what I tasted. I knew immediately that this is what I needed to create, this is what I needed to bring to Paris. I had already I really want to create my own company and I knew that the coffee scene was changing a lot in here Paris. Yes, there was Holybelly, or Wild & the Moon, two places that I love, but I wanted a place I could please all flavors.
What is your favorite thing about Echo?
The wide variety of the menu and the fact that you have the vast majority of the menu at 9am. I love the emphasis on the savory aspect of it. It’s pretty rare to find a crispy rice bowl in Paris starting at 9 am. This is something we have and something I really love.
Ideas for expansion?
I do want to expand and I have ideas, but I don’t know where or what I really want to do. I love the all day breakfast thing. So maybe doing something a bit more specific like Mexican food. We are going to open at night on the weekends this fall. We are also going to be open 6 out of 7 days a week!!
Your favorite thing on the current menu?
The Mexican chorizo sandwich. I always love good sandwich for breakfast. It gives you a good kick for the rest of the day.
The thing you miss the most about LA?
The lifestyle. What I love about LA is that if you want to be out of the world and near the beach or in your own garden you can. But if you want to be in the urban atmosphere you can. Life can be whatever you want it to be. My long-term plan has always been to open a location in LA. But as I didn’t have any experience in hospitality, I started here in Paris.
What inspires you to create your recipes?
I have to hand it to Maelia Weger on this one. She’s from LA so already, she gets it. But she does spend a lot of time on Instagram to see what is going on. For both of us it is very important to offer many different cuisines, like Mexican, Asian, etc. We want the vibe of a lot of different cultural influences.
How often do the recipes change?
Seasonally 25% of the menu changes. This is based on seasonality and seasonal products.
Why the name “Echo”?
I love Echo Park area in LA. Very creative cool area in LA. We wanted to Echo the LA food scene in Paris. Double sense of the word.
Easy to import Le Croix from the USA?
It was very difficult to get it, so I’m not gonna tell! I wanted a very popular product from LA. People love La Croix there because it is very hot and there is no sugar. I wanted to have something that nobody else had in Paris.
Why the second arrondissement?
I was looking in the 9th, the Marais, 10th and 2nd arrondissements, but I really just needed a place that was a really good opportunity. This area was and still is changing a lot. When I found the place the Hoxton had just opened so I knew it was the place to be. I wanted it to be near offices where young people are working. I really thought it was the perfect fit to be here. I fell in love with the location with the open piazza and all.
What is the Savoir Vivre of Echo?
For me Echo is a coffee place for the neighborhood. My goal is for it to be the favorite place of the neighborhood, for all day café – a huge community influence. That is why we have a communal table. French people don’t usually like this kind of thing, but I really fought for this to have this. I want Echo to be a place where people and things come together.