Sunday in Soho, or your Good Vibes Manhattan style café in Paris

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Today JJ is chatting with Alieu, co-owner of energetic cafe deli, Sunday in Soho in Paris’s second arrondissement. Let’s get the inside scoop on why this spot is a Good Vibes rated place, with good and drinks eats too.

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What was this ideal job you came to Paris for?

My wife had been offered a big job for Dior and I was winding down at my second startup company in New York. My initial idea was to open a juice shop in Paris, but I quickly realized that this idea didn’t fulfil a real need. What I did see was that there was a lack of neighborhood places offering food that was fresh and not too expensive. So I said why not create this! Why not create something that is created to improve your day. The more I thought about the idea, the more I realized what I really wanted was not only to open a place for good fresh food, but a place full of friendly people.

Are there any specific places that inspired you?

Our food is inspired by our travels: Gjusta Bakery, The Butcher’s Daughter, Cava Grill, Dig Inn –and most of all by our community.

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What were the most important things for you to be able to recreate an atmosphere found in NYC here in Paris?

Being ourselves. Yes, if you go to the 10th or the 11th arrondisements, you’re going to find places that are really interesting and I totally respect their pursuit – but for me, I often feel like they are expropriations of culture. They’re like chaotic imitations of what you can find in New York. For us the most important thing is to do what we know how to do. No, we don’t have baguettes and croissants, and actually a lot of customers ask us why. But for me, being authentic means staying in our comfort zone. We are a global team – the head chef is from Canada, the sous-chef is from Italy, my wife and I are American. I want Sunday in Soho to represent the American melting pot. No, we don’t have burgers and fries on the menu, because America isn’t about burgers and fries. It’s about dishes inspired by many different cultures like our team.

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Ideas for expansion?

We have lots happening. This fall we are launching a products line, including cold pressed juice, granola etc. We are also going to open our upstairs space. We are going to use this for special events, catering and other exciting stuff. The idea came from a 16-person table that was in my loft in Soho. It was a place where our community came together, where the vibes were always good. When we moved to Paris, we shipped over this table. It is now the door to the upstairs space. For me it’s a symbol of the beginning of everything and of bringing Soho here to Paris. It’s a door that opens up to new opportunities.

What can you find at Sunday that you can’t find anywhere else in Paris?

The Modbar – it’s the first one in France. It’s really tough to have real barista customer interaction in-between the big coffee machines you see most of the time here in Paris. So we have this automatic machine. Modbar has electronic profiling, which allows us to change the flavor and taste.

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Your favorite thing on the current menu?

The Sailor Man aka the fried chicken sandwich. To me this is the epitome of so much of America. Fried chicken is hard to get here and usually the bacon here is really different… So I’d say if you’re someone who is really looking to after something very copious that is fantastic, this is your pick. Otherwise I would say the Beyoncé or the Brooklyn. I love the bowls because they are complete meals, and they’re representative of the way I eat. I eat balanced! We wanted to create mood food because in the end food that is representative of how we feel. We counteract fried chicken with a vegan dish. We shouldn’t always have to be in the same mood.

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What is your ideal Sunday in Soho?

Friends, family, food, wine and laughter.

The thing you miss the most about New York?

The energy. I miss this proactive culture.

Why the second arrondissement?

The baseline customer was always going to be the office worker. We said, how we can improve a professionals’ day? This was the customer the persona. Some people go to the park, smoke cigarettes, etc etc. But what would people do very frequently? That’s where the money is…it’s in a café. Everyone eats lunch. So we looked for spaces in the 8th, 9th and by Opera. We didn’t look in the trendy areas because we knew there wasn’t as many office workers. Finally, we started to look in the second and when we saw the space we knew it was right. We knew this place could evolve.

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What is the Savoir Vivre of Sunday in Soho

It’s more of a feeling about embracing culture, being positive, being balanced. From the way you eat, to the way you think. That’s what we try to do here.

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Echo Deli, a very LA Style Good Vibes café in Paris

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Good Vibes Potion : Sage & Rose Face Mist by Fat and the Moon

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It’s hot and humid, you feel sticky and honestly kinda gross, you’re in need of some good vibes. Or maybe you’re just sleepy and feel a bit crusty. I have found your cure, it’s called the Fat and the Moon “Sage & Rose Face Mist.” I honestly believe this spray could cure any ailment. Fat and the Moon calls it “the mid afternoon crash antidote,” and I couldn’t agree anymore.

So what’s in this magic spray? The potion is predominantly made up of a distilled Rose Geranium – one that yields a very high quality hydrosol (a pure healing water produced during distillation). This hydrosol works as a gentle toner that helps to “revive the skin” and “keep pore clogging bacteria in check.” And let’s not forget the sage!!! This potion includes Clary sage, which serves as a very gentle astringent, getting rid of those bad vibes. And finally – last but not least, a bit of Jojoba oil to keep the skin supple. Click here to get your hands on it.

I would assume you’re convinced, so let me help you get your hands on this awesome product and the other amazing products Fat and the Moon has to offer with a discount code – JESSIE. Go get your Savoir Vivre vibes on!

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Savoir Vivre with Marc Grossman, founder of Bob’s Juice and Bakery

On this new episode of Savoir Vivre, we meet founder of Bob’s Juice Shop and Bakery, Marc Grossman. Pioneer entrepreneur of “well-being” in Paris, former student of Harvard University and filmmaker, Marc meets us today to discuss the wellness revolution in Paris and his professional experiences in the field. Marc’s sharp personality and contagious enthusiasm is sure to please.

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Not Marc’s, but Bob’s?

I didn’t want to call it Marc’s. Marc’s is not American enough, and it’s a French first name too, Bob’s sounds more American. I thought a lot about the name for my business, like when choosing the name for a baby.

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Did you always have a healthy lifestyle?

I was born in Manhattan and didn’t necessarily grow up with a “healthy lifestyle,” but I frequented juice bars from a young age. I also spent a lot of time in LA, where juicing and juice bars are just normal, they’re kind of like boulangeries in Paris. When I arrived in Paris, I noticed immediately that these kind of places did not exist, and I realized that I missed them. So I said to myself, there are definitely other people that are looking for juice bars too – I am the person that should do this, it would work. At first, it was just an idea, but it became my fantasy. It finally became a reality when I signed the lease on the space in 2016.

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Was it an immediate success?

I had customers, except I wasn’t making tons of money. But at the same time, I didn’t have huge expenses. A few months after it opened I published a recipe book. I had a bit of press so the timing was right. I was at the right place at the right time.

The first menu?

At first Bob’s was only juices made to order. But I realized very quickly that this offer was too small. So we added salads, muffins, things that go well with juice. Almost immediately there were two offers – “healthy” juices and American pastries. We mixed juices and pastries. It’s not necessarily always healthy, but we have options for everyone.

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Are your bagels homemade?

Now yes, the recipe is in my recipe book. But at the first we bought the bagels from New York, frozen bagels from H&H. I don’t think they exist anymore, or they changed the time. Except I thought it was a shame not to have fresh bagels and I wanted to make them myself.

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Your vision of wellbeing?

I find that there is a big misunderstanding of this term. For me, how is more important than what. But there will always be people that say, “you must do this” or “you must be vegetarian.” And at the end of the day, everyone has their own habits. No, in theory a bagel isn’t healthy, but if you eat a bagel on Sunday and are conscious of it, the bagel can be healthy. There are people that eat a lot of cheese. I can’t eat digest lactose, so cheese isn’t good for me. But for someone else cheese can be good. The experience of the meal is the most important, the vibes too.

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Your wellness routine?

I’m really extreme. Either I’m really healthy, or I’m really unhealthy. Sometimes in the morning I have toast with black tea. But other times I’ll be in a detox phase and I’ll eat completely raw. It’s part of the reason I created Bob’s…sometimes I am looking for detox, sometimes I am looking for pancakes, I like to have these two possibilities. I have a very addictive personality, so I go to extremes naturally. Ironically, today I am detoxing. I have been for the past two days because I’ve been so toxic recently that I had to cut out everything. It wasn’t only food and I wasn’t doing crazy extreme things but I was really stressed out and working way too much. I was obsessed with lots of things. It didn’t do me well to drink 5 coffees per day, to eat tons of sugar and late at night. For me to get out of this spiral I have to cut out everything. So today I am eating lots of fruits and drinking a little coffee. Today I can’t cut out the coffee, but maybe tomorrow.

 

Your best wellbeing tip?

Don’t eat at night. Based on my experience and research, this is the most important thing to follow. Also – fast for 12 hours, aka stop eating at 8pm and then eat breakfast the next day at 8am. Personally, if I am able to not eat at night, I wake up with tons of energy. If I eat late at night, even if it’s just a salad with quinoa, I wake up stressed out because I didn’t sleep well. I’m moody and my problems give me anxiety.

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Your tips for success, while remaining balanced?

I have almost always been characterized as “stressed. I was dyslexic, I changed school 4 times, etc. Honestly, I only started to read when I was 10. It was at this moment that I started to get serious about school. I realized that if I worked hard I would be successful. So I worked like a manic. I was always afraid of missing out on an opportunity, which in my opinion should be avoided at all costs. If you have this attitude, and you work 4 times harder than others, you will succeed. At Harvard, I calmed down a bit because I realized I had made it to “paradise”. But I also realized that in the end, Harvard was not paradise. We are never content with our success. I try to distance myself from this idea because I see that it is a never ending cycle.

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How do you manage your stress?

Haha… Well, last week I got a phone call from my security system at 2am. They told me that someone tried to break into the Bakeshop. When I arrived to the bakery, I saw that someone broke the lock on the door but were not able to get in. At the same time, I realized one of my refrigerators wasn’t working and that apparently there was a new Trump tax, forcing all international businesses to pay a tax on their business, retroactive from the opening. Oh, and that I would have another pretty important tax to pay to my old business partner…there are always problems in life. But I had told one of my clients I would go to her yoga class, the same day. It has been a really long time since I took a yoga class, even though I used to practice everyday. So I said to myself, no matter what these problems are not going to disappear today. I have to go on with my life, and so I went to the yoga class. And it was really great. It was a step in the right direction. I think that’s why I’m now on a detox. I am taking a lot of steps in the right direction. I try and put things into perspective to be less stressed out.

Your addiction?

Today my drug is my work. I work until I’m sick. It’s my power, to work more than everyone else.

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Is well-being, being well power in itself?

Well-being is in fact a power, one that that can be used in two ways. To be physically well, to be beautiful. To be fit. That’s the more attractive part, but what do we do with it? Is it just to nourish our ego? Or is it a way to love others? The ego is very smart; it finds it’s way into every situation. For example, you decide to open a juice bar to be a good citizen, to follow a passion… but in another sense, you know that people are going to look at you and say wow… isn’t he healthy, isn’t he nice. And that makes you feel good! So that’s the problem. There’s no reason to judge people because everyone has an ego.

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The problem with the 21st century?

In this day and age, we need to share, we don’t have a choice. Back when I opened Bob’s yes we had a website, but it’s nothing like the way things are today with social media. Today there is no choice but to be engaged. These days it is somewhat politically correct to say “I make a lot of money, my business is booming.” This is something that really bothers me. Today to succeed with the algorithm, you become an exhibitionist. For example, show me your butt…if you are a woman and you show your butt, you get a lot of likes on the photo. But do you want to show your butt? Or is it just to get likes?

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Your Parisian cantine?

I really like IMA on the Canal, it makes me think of Bob’s a little. Except normally I avoid these kind of places, because they make me think of work. I don’t go out much at night. I am kinda cheap and I think about what we pay at a restaurant and how much it would cost to make it at home. I do like eating in Chinatown for Vietnamese food and soups. The Chinatown near Arts and Metiers. I really like Le Petit Cambodge and Le Cambodge. I usually get takeout. They make a good soup. They’re really pro and quick. They are pretty reliable too. I also like going to Shakespeare & Co. There’s a Bob’s café there, but even if there wasn’t, I would still go.

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Yoga Village {yoga in the center of paris with some of the best teachers in town}

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Just steps away from Opera, you will find Yoga Village. This studio provides a wide range of different yoga styles from vinyasa, to strala, to kundalini and hatha (plus even more). Known as the Parisian epicenter with the best teachers and the best instruction, I decided to give it a try.

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I started the day with a Vinyasa class guided by Benoit. It brought me to a higher level of happiness in an environment filled with light and love. His practice is absolutely magical (and you will hear more about him soon). The yoga space overlooks the Boulevard Capucines, visually providing the truest beauty of Paris throughout the duration of your practice. As owner Laurent Commergnat states, Yoga Village looks to share the quality of the teachers, in a bright and vibrant space – and they surely do. Their schedule proves the studio’s value based on it’s class variety and well-known gurus. I highly suggest practicing with Benoit, Tatiana and Dasha if you plan on stopping by, and I can’t wait to test all of the other talent at Yoga Village. For more information check out their website. Yoga Village – 39 Boulevard des Capucines, 75002.

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The Yoga Lovers {aka tatiana and alex, two of the best yoga teachers in paris}

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Nothing goes more hand in hand than yoga and love. This spiritual practice teaches us self-love and how to love others. So what could be better than a real couple of real yoga lovers, Tatiana and Alex. The two were brought together by destiny in New York City and have trained with some of the best in the world (Dana Trixie Flynn, Sharon Gannon, David Life etc.) They are now based in Paris with a rigorous yoga schedule, to which I am positive you can find time to practice with them.

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Tatiana and Alex live by the philosophy of F F C aka fly, freedom and creativity. You can be sure to play with inversions and arm balances in their classes, as well as find a true sense of internal freedom and sheer creativity in your practice and in your life. These two incredibly inspiring yoga teachers have made an enormous impact on my personal practice and I can assure you that if you give them the chance, you will have the same experience. I have found a sense of confidence, fun and release through their practices that has benefited me in more ways than I can even imagine. Their schedule is available on their website, and via their social media platforms, @tatianayoga and @alexavilayoga. They also have a yoga retreat coming up on the Greek Island of Amorgos from April 30th to May 7th. There are two spots left so act quickly if you’re interested. On March 11th they will both hold 2 separate masterclasses, that I am very excited about. Alex’s will be held at Omm Studio and Tatiana’s will be at Elephant Paname (more info on their site). Trust me people. These Yoga Lovers have so much love to give.

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