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.

sunday in soho

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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PRIZE ALERT {good news for word fans from ana heart}

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I have a lovely little surprise for all Word lovers. If you send me a private message on my Instagram (@jjchase), I promise a surprise from Ana Heart that will make you very happy. Happy Friday my friends!

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The Hoxton + their fit fest {my hotel of choice that happens to be wellness friendly}

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Me and The Hoxton Hotel Group have been friends for some time now. My love affair with this hotel began a couple of years ago when the chain was much smaller. I stayed at their Shoreditch London location and I can assure you it was pretty much love at first sight. The chill vibe and the fun atmosphere sincerely resonated with me (and still does). They have now expanded to Amsterdam, they have another location in London at Holborn (where I stayed this past weekend) and even location in central Paris. They will soon be opening in Williamsburg, Brooklyn too. While I have yet to visit their Amsterdam location, I can assure you this sweet ambiance is present at all Hoxton locations, and I highly suggest you plan your next trip around one of their special locations.

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This weekend I happened to be in London for a very special event – their Fresh & Fit Fest. For the fourth consecutive year, the Hoxton organized a day congregating the biggest names in fitness, along with the best classes and trainers, the hippest activewear brands and the yummiest healthy foods for an event devoted to well-being. While I missed the boat on many of the fantastic and inspiring talks and fab yoga classes, I spent most of my day at their Health Food Market. Among my favorites were smoothies from Pit & Nut, a Pukka tea stand and a Rude Health tasting.

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It is so exciting to see such special health conscious events happening with such accessibility. Even cooler – The Hoxton offers monthly health events at all of their hotels. HUGE plus, as a guest, you receive a healthy breakfast bag every single morning with fresh yogurt, delicious granola, freshly squeezed orange juice and a banana. Just a quick aside that for me is a deal breaker. Make sure to follow their Instagram @thehoxtonhotel for all the details and subscribe to their newsletter in the bottom of their site’s homepage.

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Photo credit – The Hoxton

Yoga Wear for Powerful Women {the brand is called ana heart and it’s very close to my heart}

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of the big name yoga clothing brands – but it’s pretty hard to find a brand like Ana Heart that takes things just a little further. A brand that isn’t just about that perfect legging that makes you feel like a million bucks, or that sports bra and keeps everything tucked in comfortably. This is why I vibe so hard with Ana Heart.

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Ana Heart is a British Yoga clothing and lifestyle brand founded by women that share a image of the ideal woman (and their story is really dope click here for more info). For them, she is powerful yet feminine, seducing and active – a little bit rock and roll, and vibrates positive energy. Dude – I couldn’t agree anymore with their statement. This vision portrays my ideal woman, and the woman I aspire to be. The Ana Heart philosophy is clear in their clean cut, yet sexy, all around cool designs. If I could live in their stuff I most certainly would. They use only the softest most comfortable fabric (of excellent quality bien sûr). The line includes everything from chic sweatpants, to the perfect yoga ensemble.

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I am truly proud to represent this brand as a brand ambassador and be a part of their squad. P.s. The Ana Heart DNA is based on “Urban Peace”, a topic very close to my heart. This brand speaks to me entirely and I know it will speak to you in one way or another. Please check their online shop for more information.
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Deliciously Ella is really just that delicious {the kinda food that is healthy, good for you and super yummy}

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So I touched down in London town yesterday afternoon and I must say it has been a lovely little getaway thus far. Time for repo with my mother has been more than much needed and enjoying it at my favorite places has made it key. That being said, today I got to eat at my favorite healthy institution here in this darling city: Deliciously Ella.

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We arrived at midday hungry and ready to eat. Not only was the staff incredibly friendly and the ambiance immersed by solely good vibes, but the food was just to die for. I did a mixed plate – quinoa perfectly seasoned, smooth and creamy hummus, a incredibly flavorful falafel with curried cauliflower (@jjchase for foodporn). All I can say is wow. This combination was not only a dream, but likewise organic, vegan and gluten free(?) Ella takes all of her recipes seriously, and it shows. Everything is 100% plant based and catered to anyone’s faves (in the healthiest possible way). My mum enjoyed chili with red cabbage and corn bread. Oh la la! Did she leave a happy camper. Not to mention Deliciously Ella spent most of the day with us. I later enjoyed a Fiery Organic Ginger Shot alongside a ROOTS Juice (composed of carrots, apples, beets, lemon and ginger), yum. Mum had a peanut cookie, I DID try and wondered why I didn’t take one too.

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Ella herself has an incredibly story and it makes me feel truly blessed and grateful to enjoy her food and products. Don’t forget that her London restaurants are not her only gig. Ella has a bunch of other incredible products that have the same nutritional value system available in countless markets (for everyday enjoyment). She even has cookbooks. Click below for more info. (P.s. Ella, can you open in Paris soon?)